Hornets Handle Pistons, Lose Smith For Season
The New Orleans Hornets (21-39) were a bit shorthanded at the Hive on Friday night in their matchup with the Detroit Pistons (22-38). Rookie Anthony Davis sat out with a sprained shoulder, while top reserve and forward Jason Smith learned he'd miss the rest of the season with a torn labrum in his shoulder. Despite that, New Orleans found a way to win, defeating the Pistons 100-95.
Smith, the longest tenured Hornet and team captain, tore a labrum in his shoulder back in December, but played through the pain until now. The tear has gotten to a point where surgery will be required soon, thus ending Smith's season.
Ryan Anderson (pictured), Eric Gordon, and Greivis Vasquez shouldered the load for the short handed Hornets, finishing with a combined 65 points.
Vasquez had 25 points and 9 rebound, icing the game with 12 seconds left when he knocked in a running floater off the glass.
Gordon scored 21, and Anderson added a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds. The glass was of particular importance Friday night with both Davis and Smith unavailable.
"We need to really get to the boards a little bit more, so that's something I came out tonight and knew I needed to do," Anderson said. "It's tough because they're a big team and we had to be active."
Al-Farouq Aminu obviously agreed, as the Hornets started small forward grabbed 14 rebounds.
The Hornets return to the court Monday for a matchup with Anderson's former team, the Orlando Magic. Tip-off from the Hive is set for 7:00.