Hornets.com postgame: Mavericks 107, Hornets 89
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Mavericks (40-40), Hornets (27-54)
It was over when… Dallas veteran shooting guard Vince Carter swished a three-pointer from the left wing, giving the Mavericks a 99-80 lead with 4:17 remaining. In the final home game ever for the team known as the New Orleans “Hornets,” they dug a big hole in the first half and couldn’t get back within striking distance the rest of Sunday evening. New Orleans finished the 2012-13 regular season with a home record of 16-25, something the team will try to dramatically improve next season when it debuts as the “Pelicans.”
Hornets MVP: Ryan Anderson, who had been struggling to locate his shooting touch in April, registered his first 20-point game of this month, while also leading New Orleans in rebounds. Normally a reserve but moved into the starting lineup due to the injury absence of Anthony Davis, Anderson finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds. He went 4-for-7 from three-point range.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Brian Roberts accounted for 10 of the bench’s first 16 points. The backup point guard finished with 13 points, highlighted by 3-for-4 accuracy from three-point range. In another example of his improved playmaking and floor leadership skills, Roberts also handed out six assists, to go with zero turnovers, in 27 minutes of action.
The buzz on… power forward. The future is blindingly bright at this position, with starter Davis possessing as much upside as any young NBA player. He showed glimpses of his vast potential throughout his rookie season, but after the All-Star break, the 20-year-old turned that talent into production on a regular basis. The only negative from Year 1 for the No. 1 pick was injuries; he will finish with 64 games played. One of the more impressive statistics from Davis’ debut was that he ranks 17th among all players in PER, which shows how much he accomplished in the 28.8 minutes he averaged. Anderson was technically the backup power forward on the depth chart, but it seems like a major misnomer considering he was second on New Orleans in average minutes per game (behind only Greivis Vasquez). Anderson proved to be a tremendous acquisition, as one of the NBA’s premier three-point shooters and a player who carried the offense during the early-season stretch when Davis and Eric Gordon were sidelined. Third power forward Lance Thomas is a hard-working hustle guy who started nine times amid the team’s injuries and early issues at small forward. Davis and Anderson are under contract for 2013-14.