The final score has the Bulls winning by 18, but benches were emptied for a large portion of the fourth quarter, and the lead was above 30 at some points over the course of the game. John Salmons finished the night with 24 points on 5-for-8 shooting from behind the three-point line, putting nails in the coffin each and every time the Hornets tried to sneak their way back into the game.
But folks, it was never really close.
And I'll tell you this about the New Orleans Hornets—they were genuinely embarrassed about this loss tonight. A win would've put them in great shape to take the third seed in the Western Conference away from the Houston Rockets, and at this point of the season every single game counts.
What tells me the Hornets are for real (aside from their having won 10 of their last 12 games) is that they don't handle losses well. Every guy in that locker had a grim look on his face—even more so than what I usually see after a loss. Hornets Coach Byron Scott didn't even come out to face the media tonight, which is an extremely odd thing to do. I'm assuming there's a fine for something like that, but in any event it's a testament to how hard the team took this loss.
I wouldn't worry about them. They'll rebound, and all things considered they're one of the "sleeper" teams in the West, if we can call them that. A lot of players talked about why that's the case, but the quote of the night came from Chris Paul, who had this to say about Derrick Rose after I asked him if he saw any of himself in Derrick:
"He's a lot faster than me, a lot more explosive than me, and a lot more athletic than me, so it might be do I see myself in him?"
We know Chris Paul is a modest guy, but does he really think Rose can be better than him? Speaks volumes about the kind of respect this rookie is getting.
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