USA TODAY Sports
All in all, that was one of the Hornets' most complete wins of the season -- contributions across the board, great defense, reasonable offense. And while the Mike Conley injury surely made things far easier, the Hornets scored 1.02 points per possession against a team that allows just 0.99 (the league's best mark).
Leading the way was the New Orleans bench, whose 51 collective points easily surpassed the 40 of the starters. Moreover, those 51 came on just 41 shooting possessions while the starters' 40 came on 48. The contributions of Ryan Anderson and Jason Smith were really what allowed the team to pull out a comfortable win in a game that Greivis Vasquez went 2 for 14 from the floor and Eric Gordon had just 8 points.
- Jason Smith's game was particularly remarkable; he knocked down virtually all of his open looks (5 for 7), and repeatedly (and weirdly) drew fouls on jump shots. Toss in 4 offensive rebounds, 2 blocked shots, and 0 turnovers, and this was vintage Smith.
- Memphis had absolutely no answer for Ryan Anderson, who burned the Grizzlies from deep (including the game "clincher," a deep, shot-clock buzzer beating step back triple). In fact, Anderson didn't attempt a single shot from inside the arc.
- Al-Farouq Aminu's contributions were again important. He had 10 rebounds within the first couple minutes of the second half before eventually finishing with 12. His work on the break (when he's not dribbling) continues to be impressive, and he even knocked down a couple midrange jumpers.
- Austin Rivers' final line (2 for 4, 6 points) doesn't seem all that imposing, but I felt like this was one of his better games. Both the aggressiveness and willingness to go to the rim seem to have returned after his December-to-January slump.
- Your thoughts?