Hornets Smith Has Career Night As Wizards Lose To The Hornets
WASHINGTON- The Washington Wizards go winless on their Southwestern road trip and drop to 0-25 on the road after losing to the New Orleans Hornets 97-89.
Any Wizards fan will tell you that over the years, this team has made a habit of bringing out the best in opposing players. Names such as Earl Boykins, Jannero Pargo and Carlos Arroyo all come to mind as guys that have been ‘Wizard-Killers’. After this most recent loss you can add one more to that list, and his name is Jason Smith.
After the game, Smith told the Associated Press how he felt about his performance.
“"It was a special game, a career night for me," said Smith after his career-high 20 point performance.
In his fourth season out of Colorado State, Smith made what was only his second career start after starter Emeka Okafor missed the game due to a left oblique strain he suffered against the Phoenix Suns.
"I just went out there and tried to play aggressive like he (Okafor) would. We really need him back healthy, but in the meantime we have a lot of guys that are willing to step up."
Hornets star Chris Paul stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals as the Hornets snap a two-game losing streak. Trevor Ariza also pitched in with 16 points as he and Paul connected several times for easy buckets inside the paint.
New Orleans leading scorer David West (18.8 ppg) was out of sync with his shot, converting only 3 of 10 attempts for 10 points in addition to his 8 rebounds. The Hornets got a boost though as Willie Green and Marcus Thornton combined for 21 points off the bench.
On the night where he was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, John Wall struggled to find his shot, going 2-10 from the field to tie his season low of 4 points for the game. Wall also had 7 of the teams 13 assists.
Nick Young bounced back from poor shooting night against Dallas to score a quiet 30 points. Nick looked back in-rhythm as he shot 50 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Andray Blatche, who also struggled in Dallas, saw his numbers improve as he scored 21 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Ten of Blatche’s 21 points came in the paint during the fourth quarter as the Wizards attempted to come back from a 17-point deficit. Blatche was the only Wizard to break into the positive with an over/under of +3.
After the game Blatche seemed content with his teams overall effort.
““Even though we didn’t get a win, hopefully, we will take the same attitude and mindset back with us for the rest of the season. I’m sure that if we keep playing like we’re playing, we’re going to pull off a road win.”
The Wizards get a chance to snap their current six-game losing streak when Gilbert Arenas and the Orlando Magic come to Washington. This will be the first match-up since the blockbuster trade that sent Arenas to Orlando and landed Rashard Lewis with the Wizards.
Arenas is currently averaging a career low 8.6 points per game but look for the embattled star to try and make an impact early on in front of the crowd he played his last eight seasons for.