Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 1/12/12
A couple days after the New Orleans Hornets snapped their six game losing streak, they once again found themselves on the wrong side of a 95-85 score to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.  New Orleans once again started out the game strong, but like we have seen all season they have faded in the 4th quarter unable to sustain any lead.  The Hornets kept the game close throughout, yet were unable to slow down the duo of Kevin Durant/Russell Westbrook.   New Orleans has a formidable duo forming themselves in the likes of Chris Kaman/Carl Landry as both have been playing excellent basketball of late.  Kaman struggled early and it now seems he is finding a rythm.  Landry has been good all season so far and he looks even better coming off the bench.  Both players went off for 17 points to lead the team, Kaman also added 9 rebounds to his statline.    The surprise player in this game for the Hornets was DaJuan Summers, who one night after making his Hornets debut went a very solid 4-8 from the field scoring 10 points.  If Summers is able to continue to shoot similar numbers, expect his playing time to increase as Monty Williams continues to play around with the rotation.  The other small forward Al-Farouq Aminu has also looked much more improved over the past few games since taking over for the injured Trevor Ariza.  Aminu wasn’t great offensively going 3-7 from the floor with 6 points, but continues to dominate the boards grabbing 9 total rebounds.  Also speaking of Ariza, he was starting to practice with the team today so he should be making his return to the lineup very soon.   Jarrett Jack was quiet on the night, scoring 8 points including a buzzer beating layup just before the teams headed to the locker rooms for halftime.  Jack also added as many assists as he had points to lead the team in that departmen.  Squeaky Johnson saw some time early and had a great pass to Gustavo Ayon along with a nice looking floater, otherwise he struggled with foul trouble and was taken out of the game.  Grievis Vasquez was another player that was silent all night adding just 2 points, both of which came on free throws.    Marco Belinelli struggled to find any rythm last night going 3-10 and ending up with 10 points.  And finally Hornets center Emeka Okafor hit his first 5 shots of the game, but missed his last two putting him at an even 10 points for the evening.    Now onto some positive news concerning the Hornets.  PF/C Jason Smith will be back courtside after missing the past three games due to a death in the family.  Eric Gordon was not with the team and may not be courtside for Friday’s game as he is now dealing with a death in the family.  Gordon was not going to play anyway due to his knee injury, but more importantly I hope all is well with his family.  Recently acquired Xavier Henry looks close to making his Hornets debut as he was practicing with the team today.  Up next for New Orleans are the Minnesota Timberwolves who come to visit the Hive.  Both teams head into this one struggling on the season with identical 3-7 records, both missing key players.  Michael Beasley is out for the Timberwolves and of course Eric Gordon is still out for the Hornets.                 
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