Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hornets-Mavs -- Game 3 thread

Hornets in command, 3-1, and going home for Game 5. I think the crowd will be alive in New Orleans and spur the Hornets to a big win.

Final. Hornets, 97-84.

Starters on the bench, less than three minutes left.

Paul takes a long rebound on the run, pushes hard, and explodes into George. And 1. Hornets, 92-73.

Hornets are really difficult to rally against late in the game, because Paul won't give up the ball, can kill clock, and still get his team a good shot late.

Paul over the top. Hornets, 89-70, 5:19 to go.

Kidd's left hand caught Pargo around the neck on the break. Pargo went hard to the floor. Refs rule it a flagrant 2. Kidd (1-for-6 shooting, 3 assists in 28 minutes) is ejected, but this doesn't hurt the Mavs. Can Dallas go back in time and not pull the trigger on the Devin Harris trade? It was definitely a flagrant foul, but was less malicious than Stevenson on LeBron earlier.

Three straight for Julian Wright. Hornets, 86-70.

Stojakovic inside for 2. Hornets extend the lead to 15, 83-68, 8:30 to go.

Howard with an airball, now 3-for-15 from the floor. Dallas won't win tonight, or this series, if Howard can't score as his team's No. 2 option. Without Howard producing, the Mavs simply don't have enough offense to match the Hornets.

Down 10, Mavs open the fourth quarter for their most important game of the season with a shot-clock violation.

Hornets lead after 3, 76-66.

Paul in the lane for 2. Hornets, 74-65.

Terry and Nowitzki are carrying the Mavs right now, both in production and emotion.

Mavs starting a surge. Terry drives for 2, Nowitzki buries a long 3. Mavs within five, 68-63.

Stojakovic corner 3 ... splash. Hornets, 64-51.

Six in a row for David West. Hornets aren't getting much from Paul right now, but they're still extending the lead, 61-51.

Stojakovic for 3 ... nothing but net. Hornets, 53-46.

Paul swishes a 17-footer with 2 seconds to go in the half. Hornets lead at the break, 48-44.

On a court full of athletes, the explosiveness of Bass really stands out. Good time to mention that Bass was a second round draft pick in 2005. He is making $770,000 this year. Erick Dampier? $8.6 million.

Hornets on an 8-2 run. Two assists for Paul, two free throws and a jumper for Stojakovic. New Orleans, 46-40.

Paul back in, game tied, 38-all, 4:34 to go until halftime.

Hornets making a run with their bench: Pargo with seven and Julian Wright with 4. Hornets in front, 38-36.

Mavs, getting 12 from Jason Terry and huge lift off the bench from Brandon Bass (six points and relentless work on the offensive glass), lead after 1, 30-23.

The two biggest keys for New Orleans in this series -- Chris Paul controlling and creating at the offensive end, and Tyson Chandler on the floor for 40 minutes per game -- are not going well right now. Chandler picked up two quick fouls and managed only five minutes in the first quarter. Paul is 1-for-2 with three assists in 12 minutes.