Vasquez, Hornets Sting Sixers 111-99: Recap and Analysis

The Philadelphia 76ers (16-23) lost to the young and surging New Orleans Hornets (12-26) Tuesday night, 111-99. The Hornets, who have won four out of their last five games, continued their success. The Sixers, looking to gain their second win over the Hornets this year, failed to do so. In their first meeting the Hornets only managed to score 68 points. In this go around, however, the Hornets had star guard Eric Gordon and last year’s number 1 draft choice Anthony Davis who were both absent in the first game against the Sixers.

Holiday celebrates a three-pointer.

The Sixers had won four straight home games and the last 12 out of 13 home games. The streak was broken Tuesday. The Sixers were not able to get back-to-back wins after they defeated James Harden and the Houston Rockets 107-100 Sunday night.

The first quarter in the game was a scoring frenzy with both teams combining for only one missed three pointer. In the quarter the Hornets matched their season first quarter high in scoring with a whopping 35 points. The Sixers struggled to get a stop as the Hornets shot 76 percent. 35-28 Hornets after one.

Midway through the second quarter with Jrue Holiday sitting, the Sixers found themselves facing an 11-point deficit. Jrue, however, came in and ratcheted up the defense up and caused 3 turnovers, setting the defensive tone and sparked a Sixers surge where they scored 8 unanswered points. The half ended at 53-47 Hornets. The Sixers got outrebounded by 8 rebounds in the first half. That is just another reason why the Sixers desperately need Andrew Bynum.

The third quarter was a disaster for the Sixers. The turning point of the game was when Evan Turner went up for a drive with the Sixers down only 6 and he got clearly fouled but he did not get the call; the Hornets then ran down the floor and Al-Farouq Aminu completed a alley-oop slam. The Sixers were outscored 33-21 in the quarter.

In the early part of the 4th, the Sixers started out with a 20-point deficit until Nick Young came in for the first time in the game and scored 14 points in 5 minutes. The game, once a blowout, turned into manageable and intense game. In fact, at one point, the Sixers cut down the lead to only 8 points.

Despite losing the momentum, the Hornets put up a flurry of foul shots and Ryan Anderson putbacks together to silence the crowd. The Sixers failed to mount a second comeback and lost the game by 12. The Hornets improved to 12-26 although their record is misleading because Gordon and Davis both stars have been out for most of the season.

The Sixers have been a less effective defensive team this year compared to last year’s squad. This year they are letting up 97 points a game. They have let up at least 100 points in their last four games.

Key Stat:

The Hornets outrebounded the Sixers 48-31, an unacceptable stat because the Hornets do not have any dominant rebounders. Lavoy Allen and Spencer Hawes, the two big men, combined for only 2 rebounds.

X-Factor: Greivis Vasquez (PG, NOH)

Greivis Vasquez, the PG for New Orleans, was the X-Factor in the game scoring 23 points and 9 assists. He led the terrific offensive performance for the Hornets, making all the other players better with his team play. Vazquez answered whenever the Sixers surged and shot 10-18 from the field and 2-3 from three land.

Sixers Bright Spot: Jrue Holiday

Holiday has been the heart and soul for the Sixers all year on both sides of the ball. He had a brilliant first half, scoring 12 points, dishing out 9 assists, and grabbing 4 boards. He ended the game with 29 points, 11 assists, and five steals. Jrue, a potential All-Star, has been one of the top point guards in the league and my pick for the Most Improved Player award. He is averaging 19 points and 9 assists per game.

Doug Collins Interview:

Doug was a very upset coach both with his inconsistent team and the media. He was asked by a reporter; “Are the players tuning you out defensively wise?” Collins was very upset with the question and stared down the reporter before walking out. Before walking out he responded to the question by saying that the question was unfair and questioning coaching only stirs up “doodoo” in times of conflict.


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Categories: 76ers, Beat Writing, Editorial

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