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The New York Knicks Overwhelm The Hornets, 102-80

The New Orleans Hornets dropped to second-to-last place in the Western Conference after their loss to the New York Knicks last night, 102-80.

This loss drops the Hornets to 3-6. They have lost their last 4 games, and the Hornets defense has given up more than 100 points in each. In the games the Hornets have won this season, they have only allowed their opponents an average of 89 points.

“We've got to get it together. It's hurting us. It's four losses in a row. You don't want to take that. You don't want to get used to losing,” said Hornet’s starting guard Greivis Vasquez.

The Knicks dominated the Hornets throughout the game, out-rebounding them 49-36, and scoring 17 points off of second-chance plays. The Hornets were again without forward Anthony Davis, who averages 8.3 rebounds per game; he was sidelined because of some tenderness in his left ankle.

Knicks’ center Tyson Chandler led his team’s rebounding efforts with 12, and his bench back-up Rasheed Wallace captured 7. Collectively, the Knicks’ starters snagged 26 rebounds and their off-the-bench counterparts 23.

Overall, the Knicks grabbed 36 defensive rebounds and 13 offensive boards. Of the Hornet’s 36 total rebounds, only 5 came from the offensive side of the court.

Offensively, the Knicks assaulted the Hornets away from the basket, with 72% of their shots coming from outside the paint. Raymond Felton led the Knicks in three’s, shooting 5 for 6 from beyond the arc. Overall, the Knicks only shot 38.9% from downtown, but they crowded the air with 36 attempts. Steve Novak, one of the Knicks’ go-to long range shooters, saw plenty of opportunities, but was only 2 for 10 from outside.

The Hornets managed to keep the game close in the second quarter, fighting to overcome a 14 point deficit with a surge by Ryan Anderson and Austin Rivers. Both put up 6 points in the second, with Anderson knocking down two threes, and Rivers finding success inside, including a smooth jumper banking in as he drew a foul from Knicks forward Ronnie Brewer.

After that the Knicks started to widen the gap again, however, with the help of two 3-point shots by Raymond Felton, and a long jumper by Carmelo Anthony. The half ended with the Knicks ahead 53-48.

The third quarter proved to be the hardest for the Hornets. They shot a dismal 35% to New York’s 42%, and committed 5 turnovers and 8 fouls, which the Knicks converted into 12 points (4 from turnovers, 8 from the line).

At the end of the third the Knicks led the Hornets, 83-64, and Mike Woodson began to pull his starters from the floor. The Knicks outscored the Hornets 19-16 in the final quarter.

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points, shooting 54% from the field. Raymond Felton and J.R Smith both added 15 points.

Hornets guard Austin Rivers continued to show an increased interest in creating scoring opportunities off the dribble and from a distance. He scored a season- and career-high 15 points, shooting 50%, and making two of three from three-point range. Ryan Anderson led New Orleans’ scoring with 15 points. Brian Roberts put up 13 points from the bench, and hit 3 of 4 three pointers. 

The Knicks, now 8-1, lead the Eastern Conference.

The Hornets will face the 5-7 Pacers in Indiana on Wednesday night. This is the first of a four game road trip; they will be back to New Orleans Nov. 28 to host the Utah Jazz.

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