GRAY SMASH! I miss that guy.
The Hornets lost to the Raptors tonight in their return home after a long road trip extended by the All-Star break. The teams traded the lead for most of the game, with the Raptors pulling away late. Dwayne Casey went to a small lineup in the second half and the Hornets could not adjust. Greivis Vasquez and Marco Belinelli had no shot of staying in front of Jerryd Bayless and Leandro Barbosa on the perimeter, and their penetration led to several open 3s for Linas Kleiza and layups for everyone else. Marco Belinelli did his best to keep the Hornets in the game, hitting a couple threes in the third, but the Hornets offense came to a complete halt around the same time the Raps started firing on all cylinders. Monty tried to counter with his own small lineup, but things didn't really change, as the Hornets got shorter, but not much faster, and the offense looked just as bad.
Solid games from Ariza, Kaman, and Belinelli, who bounced back from a rough game last night with 20 points on 15 shots. Awful shooting from both Hornets PGs tonight as Jarrett Jack and Vasquez combined to go 5/19 from the field. Jack managed to get to the line 5 times, to make up for some of the brick tossing, but neither guy was good tonight. In a move that I assume will be discussed way too much, Jack started the second half after looking a good bit better than Vasquez in the first half. He rewarded Monty with the aforementioned bricks. After his best game as a Hornet, Xavier Henry played 6 minutes. Boo. Gustavo Ayon got into double digit points, but failed to make an impact on the glass, or against the Raptor layup line in the second half. Won't get a full recap tonight because I spent much of the game catching up with friends and eating some BBQ pork nachos. Please fill in the blanks in the comments. Link to the box score here. Mavericks bring their two game losing streak to town on Friday.