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NO RIP, NO GAS.....New Orleans 95, PISTONS 87, W 12/16/09
Posted on: 12-16-2009

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>>caption:  DAVID WEST (#30) DRIVES


    Next to another Richard Hamilton
injury, the worst thing that happened
to the Pistons Wednesday night was
    Leading 55-42 at intermission
thanks to a 20-4/2nd-Qtr run, the
Pistons scored only 32-P the rest of
the way and lost at New Orleans 95-87.
    Hamilton's first hurt was an ankle
sprain on opening night and kept him
out of action until Detroit's last two
games. Hamilton had a team-high 21-P
in Tuesday night's contest at Houston, but tweeked his right hamstring in the
process. Rip and his offense were absent when Detroit went flat and shot only 25%
from the field (5-of-20) in Wednesday's 4th-Qtr.
    On the flip side, New Orleans went 10-for-10 at the free throw line in the final
frame as part of a 17-6 closing run. Peja Stojakovic's triple tied the game at 81
with 3:23 to play. After an exchange of buckets, David West put the Hornets ahead
for good with both a layup and an 18-foot fadeaway to make it 87-83.
    West scored a season-high 32-P including 10-P in the final frame. It was the first
time West reached the 30-P plateau this season after hitting that mark 10 times last
season. West also grabbed a game-high 12-RB.
    West wasn't alone. Chris Paul scored 14 of his 16-P after halftime and also had
a game-high 12-A. Emeka Okafor scored 15-P. Devin Brown had 13-P and Stojakovic
11-P as all five Hornets starters reached double figures.
    Rodney Stuckey led Detroit with 26-P, Charlie Villanueva added 18-P and Chucky
Atkins, starting in Hamilton's spot, scored his season-high of 13-P.  
    Detroit lost for a second straight night on the road, following a season's-best
five game win streak. The Pistions are now 11-14.
    The Hornets improved to 9-3 at home and are 11-13 on the season overall.


PISTONS H-COACH JOHN KUESTER:   ""This was one of those game where you look
back and say, 'God we played well in the first half, and the second half we didn't do
so well.'...{West] is a very dangerous offensive player. He is someone very capable
of putting up big numbers and that is what he did tonight."

PISTONS FWD CHARLIE VILLANUEVA:   "It’s very frustrating, we came out as a very
aggressive team, we got stops we moved the ball, guys made nice baskets. We played
like a team that first half; the second half we gave them a little bit of breathing room
and we just collapsed offensively."

PISTONS FWD AUSTIN DAYE:   "We were just coasting, playing really good basketball,
moving the ball really well. That gave us a good lead, but we weren’t able to finish
it off in the 2nd half...I don’t think it was them being aggressive, I don’t think we
moved the ball as well as we did in the first half. We tried to press on defense and
try to get the ball out of CP3’s hands but did not do a good job of that."

HORNETS FWD DAVID WEST:   ""It was about us coming in here and taking care of
the basketball. We had more confidence coming in here [in the 2nd-H] and what we
were trying to do offensively. Detroit, they are a little banged up in terms of their
roster. We felt like this was a game we had to come in here and get."

HORNETS GD CHRIS PAUL:   "We've been a great second-half team so far this year.
We've just got to figure out a way to do that 48 minutes. ... We think about it all the
time. I'm sure Detroit over there is trying to figure out why they didn't do what they
did in the first half in the second half. Every team in this league is trying to figure
out how to put 48 minutes of basketball together...We picked up the intensity. We
got after them a little bit. We rebounded the ball better and we got out in transition.
D-West got us going."

HORNETS GM/COACH JEFF BOWER:   "We had way too many turnovers and mistakes
that we shouldn't have had. At halftime, we talked about our offense and eliminating
the turnovers so our defense would gather steam. It seemed to work."


    Hamilton went through pre-game warm-ups before being ruled out. He's listed as
    Atkins' only other double digit game this season was 10-P in a home win over
Milwaukee on DEC 4TH.
    Paul has a dozen or more assists in his last six games, the longest such streak
in the NBA this season.
    The Hornets are 8-7 under GM/Coach Jeff Bower following a 3-6 start under
fired head coach Byron Scott.
    The Pistons conclude a three game southwest road swing Friday night at
Oklahoma City. 


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