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New Orleans at Chicago

Hornets defeat Bulls without Davis

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- It didn't matter to Robin Lopez or the rest of the Hornets that Anthony Davis was back in New Orleans.

They weren't dwelling on it. Instead, they were dealing with it.

Greivis Vasquez scored 18 points and the balanced Hornets beat the Chicago Bulls 89-82 on Saturday night even though they were missing the No. 1 draft pick.

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"That's the big thing about a team game," Lopez said. "Everybody came together and everybody stepped it up."

Lopez and Jason Smith scored 16 apiece. Ryan Anderson added 12 points and 13 rebounds, and the Hornets hit 20 of 23 free throws to get the win even though Davis was nursing a mild concussion.

Luol Deng had 19 points and eight rebounds for Chicago. Nate Robinson scored 15, and Marco Belinelli added 13 against his former team, but the Bulls shot 33 percent in this one after hitting just under 64 percent of their shots the previous night in an easy win over Cleveland. It was a particularly rough night for Richard Hamilton and Carlos Boozer, who shot a combined 3 for 18 and each finished with four points after scoring 19 apiece against the Cavaliers.

The Hornets trailed by seven in the second quarter and led by 10 in the third but had to hang on down the stretch, with Robinson making it as tough as he could on them.

He scored all but four of his points in the fourth to help keep the Bulls in it, but they ultimately came up short.

His jumper with 1:16 left made it 81-77, and Chicago had a chance to make it a one-possession game after Taj Gibson blocked Smith. Instead, Belinelli missed a 3.

Smith hit two free throws with 53.5 seconds left. Roger Mason Jr. added two more to make it 85-77, and the Hornets prevailed because they didn't back down without their prized rookie.

"We don't get a lot of credit or notoriety for being a physical team, but that's something we've prided ourselves on since I've been here, was to play a physical style of basketball, legally," coach Monty Williams said. "I don't think we out-worked them, I just think the ball came our way a few times and it was just a major battle in that paint. Anytime you play against Chicago, a team that [Tom Thibodeau] is gonna coach, you know you're gonna play a team that is gonna hit you right in the mouth."

He had to be feeling better after this one. Before the game, though, he made it clear he wasn't thrilled with the NBA.

While Davis was back in New Orleans being examined after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from teammate Austin Rivers in the first half of Friday's win over Utah, Williams was unloading.

He blasted the NBA's protocols for determining when a player can return from a concussion before this game, saying, "Now, they treat everybody like they have white gloves and pink drawers and it's getting old. It's just the way the league is now."

He had to like the way his team stepped up even though Davis was out.

"You see how guys came in with high motors, understood that this is their time to get their minutes," Chicago's Taj Gibson said. "This league is all about guys stepping up. You saw Robin Lopez and Ryan Anderson, guys coming in with a high motor, gaining confidence early and playing well."

The Bulls also saw some missed opportunities, particularly near the rim. When they drove, Thibodeau said he saw "a lot of flipping instead of attacking," but it wasn't just that. He saw players not hustling back on defense after a miss, and that really bothered him.

"The thing that bothered me was our approach to defensive transition," he said. "When you're not shooting well, you can't allow that to sap your energy in terms of getting back, setting your defense."

Notes

  • When he was an assistant in Boston, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau could tell big things were in store for Doc Rivers' son Austin. "In Boston, he was around a lot," Thibodeau said. "He had a lot of confidence and poise, very comfortable being on the floor playing against pros even when he was in high school. He's been around the pro game his whole life. I think he's going to be a terrific player." Rivers believed Thibodeau would be a successful head coach, and in his first two years, the Bulls captured the top seed in the Eastern Conference. "It's funny, before he became a head coach, my dad was always talking like he's gonna be a great coach. It was almost like my dad and him coached. It wasn't just my dad. Coach Tom was.you look at their [Boston] defense and how it went up once he got there, and look what he's done with Chicago. I know he's gonna have a tough defensive scheme for me and everyone else tonight."
  • The Hornets had dropped eight straight to Chicago.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Without injured No. 1 pick Anthony Davis, Robin Lopez contributes 16 points to help the Hornets get past the Bulls. (US Presswire)
Without injured No. 1 pick Anthony Davis, Robin Lopez contributes 16 points to help the Hornets get past the Bulls. (US Presswire)

Scoreboard
New Orleans (2-1) «2125202389
Chicago (2-1)1826162282
NO:G. Vasquez 18 Pts
NO:R. Anderson 13 Reb
NO:G. Vasquez 6 Ast
CHI:L. Deng 19 Pts
CHI:J. Noah 11 Reb
CHI:K. Hinrich 4 Ast
Players of the Game
New OrleansChicago

Greivis Vasquez

Luol Deng
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
18461984
New Orleans
R. Anderson, PF425-131-1131412
G. Vasquez, PG366-184-446218
A. Rivers, SG344-121-23239
R. Lopez, C337-102-470016
A. Aminu, SF274-60-06148
R. Mason Jr., SG212-32-22118
D. Miller, SF180-10-03120
J. Smith, PF154-58-820416
B. Roberts, PG60-52-23102
L. Thomas, SF50-20-01010
X. Henry, SG30-00-00000
H. Warrick, PFDid Not Play
E. Gordon, SGDid Not Play
A. Davis, PFDid Not Play
Totals 32-7520-2344132189
 42.7%87.0% 
Chicago
L. Deng, SF436-157-1084019
J. Noah, C434-123-4113611
C. Boozer, PF261-82-27224
K. Hinrich, PG241-80-02422
R. Hamilton, SG192-100-02224
M. Belinelli, SG294-103-302313
N. Robinson, PG246-162-252315
T. Gibson, PF214-74-451212
J. Butler, SF61-10-00002
N. Mohammed, C40-00-01000
V. Radmanovic, SF10-10-00100
D. Rose, PGDid Not Play
M. Teague, PGDid Not Play
Totals 29-8821-2541212082
 33.0%84.0% 
Other Games
Sac 98 Final
Ind 106
Bos 89 Final
Wash 86
Den 116 Final
Mia 119
Tor 100 Final
Brook 107
Port 95 Final
Hou 85
Char 99 Final
Dal 126
Cle 102 Final
Mil 105
Utah 100 Final
SA 110
GS 114 Final
LAC 110