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roger mason

Roger Mason understands playing time is fleeting, especially as a role player, so the New Orleans Hornets guard stays prepared for when he gets the call.

Mason scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter Wednesday night to rally the Hornets to an 88-79 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Mason, who played 26 seconds in the first half and did not play in a victory over San Antonio on Monday, made all five of his shots in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers for the Hornets, who have won three in the row for the first time this season…

Greivis Vasquez and Jason Smith also scored 17 points for the Hornets, and Robin Lopez chipped in with 14.

James Harden scored 25 points for the Rockets, who had won 10 of their past 12 games and five in a row. Harden, who was held to three points in the final quarter when the Rockets were outscored 29-10, was the only Houston player in double figures.

Jeremy Lin scored nine points on 4-of-12 shooting and have five assists for the Rockets, who committed 23 turnovers…

Eric Gordon struggled with five points on 2-of-12 shooting, but the Hornets have won four of five since his return.

Ryan Anderson, New Orleans’ 3-point specialist, was 0 of 7 from the field, including 0 of 4 from behind the arc.

No. 1 pick Anthony Davis, who along with Lopez did not play in the fourth quarter, had six points and three rebounds.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Eric Gordon carries Hornets to victory over Spurs

Hornets fans grew restless as guard Eric Gordon sat out much of the early season rehabilitating his injured knee.

A New Year’s Day appearance at New Orleans Arena was met with a mixture of cheers as well as jeers.

But Gordon may be turning those dissenters into fans, proving he may just be worth the Hornets nearly $60 million investment.

Gordon scored 24 points, including six consecutive in a critical fourth quarter run, to lead the Hornets to a 95-88 victory over San Antonio on Monday night.

”That’s one of the key things I do best when it comes to late-game situations or if anything gets tough,” Gordon said. ”I like to take guys one on one and I’m able to get a shot off and get a good shot. I look forward to that.

”I love those situations,” he said.

Anthony Davis added 17 points, Greivis Vasquez 14 and Ryan Anderson 13 for the Hornets, who have won two consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 2-3, the second and third games of the season…

Manu Ginobili scored 21 points to lead the Spurs, who had won eight of their previous nine, dating to a 99-94 victory over the Hornets in San Antonio on Dec. 21.

Tony Parker added 16 points, Tim Duncan 13 and Kawhi Leonard 10 for San Antonio. Duncan was 5 of 14, at one point missing five consecutive shots in the third quarter.

– Reported by the Associated Press

The New Orleans Hornets today signed guard Donald Sloan of the Sioux Falls Skyforce for the 11th Call-Up of the 2012-13 NBA Development League season. It is a 10-day contract.

Sloan earned the Call-up after playing just two games with the Skyforce and joins more than 115 players with NBA D-League experience currently on NBA rosters.

Sloan (6-3, 205, Texas A&M), was signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers last season following the expiration of a 10-day contact with the Hornets. He started in 11 of the 25 games he appeared in, averaging 6.6 points and 3.7 assists. He re-signed with Cleveland this season, appearing in 20 games and averaging 4.1 points and 1.9 assists in 12.9 minutes prior to being waived and joining the Skyforce. In two games with Sioux Falls, he averaged 22.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists; helping the Skyforce to back-to-back victories over the Los Angeles D-Fenders and Reno Bighorns last week.

Sloan is expected to join the Hornets tonight and be available when the team hosts the San Antonio Spurs tonight at 8 P.M EST.

Eric Gordon will play more minutes Saturday

New Orleans Hornets Coach Monty Williams said shooting guard  Eric Gordon continues to show signs that he is becoming more game ready and they will proceed with plans to increase his minutes slightly on Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks.

Williams said Gordon had a productive practice Friday after sitting out Wednesday night’s game against the Houston Rockets to avoid having him play his first back-to-back game too soon since returning last week after missing the first 29 games of the season.

“He’s getting more and more game ready,” Williams said.

– Reported by John Reid of the New Orleans Times Picayune

Monta Ellis

Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis and New Orleans Hornets guard Greivis Vasquez today were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 24, through Sunday, Dec. 30.

Ellis led the Bucks to a 2-1 week, including wins over the Brooklyn Nets on Dec. 26 and Miami Heat on Dec. 29, with averages of 21.3 points (tied for seventh in the Conference), 8.3 assists (fourth in the Conference) and 4.0 steals (first in the Conference). Ellis had a 30-point game against the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 30 and tallied five-or-more steals against both the Nets and Heat.

Greivis Vasquez

Vasquez, who averaged a double-double with 21.0 points and a league leading 10.0 assists, led the Hornets to a 2-1 week which included wins over the Orlando Magic on Dec. 26 and the Charlotte Bobcats on Dec. 29. He also led the Western Conference in minutes per game, playing 41.7 per contest. In New Orleans’ lone loss, 104-97 to the Toronto Raptors on Dec. 28, Vasquez fell one rebound shy of a triple-double, finishing the game with 20 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Al Horford and Jeff Teague, Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez, Denver’s Danilo Gallinari, Detroit’s Will Bynum, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and San Antonio’s Tony Parker.

The New Orleans Hornets today assigned rookie forward Darius Miller to the Iowa Energy, the Hornets’ NBA Development League affiliate.  The assignment is the record 85th of the 2012-13 NBA and NBA D-League seasons, while Miller becomes the record 46th NBA player to be assigned to the NBA D-League this season.

Miller (6-8, 235, Kentucky) has appeared in 23 games for the Hornets this season, averaging 2.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 13.6 minutes.  Originally selected in the second round (46th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft, Miller was named the 2012 SEC Sixth Man of the Year and set the Kentucky record for games played (152) during his four-year Wildcat career.

Miller is expected to join the Energy today and be available on Saturday, Jan. 5, when the team travels to face the Reno Bighorns at 10 p.m. ET.

Eric Gordon back as Hornets beat Bobcats

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon made his return to the lineup Saturday night. And for the better part of 24 minutes, he looked as if he’d never been away.

Gordon had 24 points and seven assists, helping the New Orleans Hornets overcome a 21-point first-half deficit and extend the Charlotte Bobcats’ losing streak to 18 games with a 98-95 victory Saturday night.

The Bobcats are one game away from a winless December. They haven’t won since Nov. 24 and are closing in on their franchise-record 23-game losing streak to close the 2011-12 season.

Gordon, who hadn’t played since April 22 following arthroscopic right knee surgery, was 5 of 13 from the field and 12 of 14 from the free throw line. He had two steals and two turnovers.

“I felt pretty good, I was kind of surprised,” Gordon said. “Now I’m just going to try to get better and better from here. I wouldn’t have had a chance to help this team earlier with my knee, but I’m glad everything is working out now.”

Ryan Anderson had 19 points and made a pair of 3-pointers in the final period as the Hornets won for the second time in three games…

“He’s a special player,” Anderson said of Gordon. “There are not a lot of guys like him in the NBA. He hasn’t quit warmed up to be 100 percent comfortable yet with this group on the court, but to come out and take over like that, that is the mark of a special player.”

– Reported by Steve Reed of the Associated Press

Eric Gordon set to return for Hornets

Eric Gordon set to return for Hornets

New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon will make his much-anticipated season debut off the bench Saturday night against the reeling Charlotte Bobcats, losers of 17 straight games.

Gordon, who spent nearly two months in Los Angeles rehabilitating his sore right knee, will likely play about 25 minutes against the Bobcats, he said, as he gradually works back into game conditioning with a future return to the starting lineup still undetermined.

“I’m just looking forward to getting out there and playing and I thought this was somewhat of a good time to get started,” Gordon said before the game. “It’s still somewhat of a progression for me. I’m just going to get out there and play.”

– Reported by Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

Hornets guard Eric Gordon cleared for full contact in practice

New Orleans Hornets guard Eric Gordon, who has not played this season because of knee surgery, has been cleared for contact practice.

No timetable has been established for his return.

Shortly before the Hornets were to face Indiana on Saturday, Hornets general manager Dell Demps said Gordon would begin full contact practice with the team next week and officials would monitor his progress.

“We’re going to put him in situations (during practice) and will evaluate him,” Demps said, adding that once he returns, “it would not be smart to play him 48 minutes.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

Eric Gordon not ready to return for Hornets just yet

The New Orleans Hornets will get injured shooting guard Eric Gordon back on the bench for moral support Saturday night when the team plays the Indiana Pacers in New Orleans Arena.

But Coach Monty Williams said here Friday that Gordon’s first game action isn’t imminent. “He’s been doing so much rehab now I think it’s a matter of him getting his game condition back,” Williams said after the team’s morning shoot-around in preparation for Friday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. “The only way to do that is to play. But there’s some things he can do to build a base before he steps on the floor so that’s what (the Hornets training and strength and conditioning staff) will be doing over the next few days.”

Gordon has rehabilitated and strengthened his ailing right knee in Los Angeles since Nov. 7 and said Wednesday night he’d be playing by the end of the month.

Williams said Friday Gordon had not yet been cleared for contact work.

– Reported by Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

Chris Paul

The Los Angeles Clippers’ franchise record-tying 11th consecutive victory had owner Donald Sterling leading a ”hip, hip hooray” chant in the locker room.

Sterling grabbed the hand of coach Vinny Del Negro and held it up, exhorting his team, ”Let’s hear it for the coach.” Then he told Del Negro, ”Vinny, give me a hug” and the two men embraced.

”Eleven in a row. Not bad, is it?” Sterling said.

Blake Griffin scored 18 points and Jamal Crawford added 17 in the Clippers’ 93-77 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night that tied the franchise mark set by the 1974-75 Buffalo Braves.

”That’s pretty special, especially to do it at home,” said Chris Paul, who had 10 points and 12 assists, giving him 5,003 in his career…

DeAndre Jordan added 12 points for the Clippers, whose 19-6 record is tied with New York for second-best in the NBA.

Robin Lopez scored 14 of his 22 points in the first quarter and rookie Anthony Davis added 16 for the Hornets. They lost their ninth in a row and 11th in 12 games while falling to 2-10 on the road. They were the last team to beat the Clippers on Nov. 26…

Paul fed Griffin for a layup late in the second quarter to notch his 5,000th assist, triggering a standing ovation. Griffin got fouled on the play and made the free throw. It came during an 11-0 run that provided the Clippers’ largest lead to that point, 46-30. Paul’s alley-oop pass to Griffin led to a fast-break dunk for the Clippers’ final basket of the half, with them leading 48-38.

– Reported by Beth Harris of the Associated Press

damian lillard

Rookie Damian Lillard hit a 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left and the Portland Trail Blazers handed New Orleans its sixth straight loss with a 95-94 victory over the Hornets on Sunday night.

After trailing by as many as 16, Austin Rivers hit a 3-pointer for the Hornets to tie it at 92 with 50.9 seconds left. The Blazers then absorbed a blow when LaMarcus Aldridge suddenly came up limping and headed to the locker room with what appeared to be a left ankle injury, but Lillard came through to give Portland the win.

The winning shot appeared to come at the buzzer but a review put the fraction back on the clock. Lance Thomas made a layup for the Hornets as time ran out for the final margin.

J.J. Hickson had a season-high 24 points and added 16 rebounds for the Blazers, who have won three straight. Hickson has five straight double-doubles and 13 overall this season.

Ryan Anderson had 26 points, including seven 3-pointers, for New Orleans.

Aldridge, whose condition was not immediately available, finished with 20 points before leaving the game and Lillard had 16.

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

Hornets forward Jason Smith out at least two weeks

After missing time earlier this year with a left shoulder strain, New Orleans Hornets forward Jason Smith is now out for at least two weeks with a sprained right shoulder, the result of a play in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night’s 92-88 loss at the Oklahoma City Thunder.

With 10:01 to go in the fourth quarter, and the score tied at 62-62, Smith blocked a dunk attempt by Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, incurring the injury.

“Jason won’t play; he’s got a shoulder injury that could keep him out for up to two weeks,” Hornets Coach Monty Williams said Friday night. “It’s not a great thing for our team, but in light of what’s going on in the world, we’re doing OK.”Williams said his front-line rotation for the foreseeable future will not change.

– Reported by Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

Anthony David

New Orleans Hornets rookie forward Anthony Davis will play Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards for the first time since a Nov. 17 game against the Milwaukee Bucks.  Davis, the No. 1 pick in the June NBA draft, missed 11 consecutive games with a stress reaction in his left ankle.

Hornets Coach Monty Williams said after the team’s shootaround that Davis will come off the bench behind starter Ryan Anderson at power forward. Since Davis has been out, the Hornets have lost nine of 11 games.

“I’m going to bring him off the bench to ease him into playing again,” Williams said. “He’s excited about playing. Ryan is playing so well, I just think it’s the right thing to do. It’s good to have him back in the fold again.”

– Reported by John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

dwyane wade

For the Miami Heat, one nearly perfect quarter was more than enough to help stop a two-game slide.

Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, LeBron James finished with 24 points and seven assists, and the Heat shot a season-best 58 percent on the way to topping the New Orleans Hornets 106-90 on Saturday night.

Chris Bosh scored 13, and Ray Allen and Shane Battier each added 11 for Miami, which took control by outscoring the Hornets 33-10 over the final 11 minutes of the second quarter. New Orleans started the game 10 for 12 from the floor, then shot 9 for 31 over the rest of the half.

”We’ve got to defend. It’s that simple,” James said. ”When we defend, the game’s that much easier for us.”

Ryan Anderson scored 24 for New Orleans, which got 20 from Robin Lopez and 12 from Jason Smith. The Hornets turned the ball over 19 times, and Miami converted the miscues into 22 points…

James has scored at least 20 points in all 18 Miami games this season. He tied a Heat record by scoring 20 in 23 straight regular-season games (going back to last season) and 39 consecutive games overall, including playoffs. He made 10 of his first 11 shots on Saturday…

Bosh missed three dunk attempts in the game, including two on one possession in the third quarter, and predictably was teased in the locker room about it postgame.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Hornets insert Xavier Henry into starting lineup

Hornets coach Monty Williams announced before Friday night’s game against Memphis that he has made a change in his starting lineup.

Xavier Henry has been inserted into the starting lineup for the first time this season, replacing Al-Farouq Aminu, who had started every game so far this season.

Aminu is coming off a 3 for 6 shooting night in which he scored six points during Wednesday’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Henry came off the bench to contribute eight points on 2 of 5 shooting in season-high 19 minutes against the Lakers.

– Reported by Terrance Harris of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

Eric Gordon making progress in his rehabilitation work

New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon is making progress in his rehabilitation work in Los Angeles to recover from a sore right knee, according to the team. Gordon was sent to Los Angeles a month ago to get more personalized rehabilitation work to help in his knee recovery and to strengthen his quad muscles.

Hornets spokesman Harold Kaufman said Thursday that Gordon’s quad muscles have strengthened to 65 percent, but there remains no set timetable on his return.

– Reported by John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

Austin Rivers struggling to overcome shooting problems

In the past two games, New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Austin Rivers hasn’t made a shot from the field despite playing extended minutes off the bench. Rivers has combined to shoot 0-of-10 from the field after consecutive games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Lakers.

He missed all five shot attempts from the field and scored one point in Wednesday night’s 103-87 loss to the Lakers after going scoreless against the Bucks Monday night.

Though Rivers is shooting 28.3 percent from the field and averaging 6.1 points after 16 games, Hornets Coach Monty Williams said he has no plans of limiting his minutes.

– Reported by John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

Kobe Bryant

Before Kobe Bryant had even turned in his latest dominant performance, NBA Commissioner David Stern sought him out to offer a congratulatory hand shake for the extraordinary scoring milestone the Lakers star was about to surpass.

Stern assumed Bryant would score the 13 points he needed to become only the fifth player in NBA history to reach 30,000, and who wouldn’t?

Bryant had 17 points by halftime, finished with 29, and Los Angeles snapped a two-game skid with a 103-87 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night.

”He just congratulated me and told me I was one of the best competitors that he’s seen in this game and I really appreciated that,” Bryant said of his pregame exchange with Stern.

Now Bryant in is elite company. The only other players to score more than 30,000 are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.

”It’s pretty awesome,” Bryant said. ”These are players I respect tremendously and obviously grew up idolizing and watching and learned a great deal from.”

– Reported by Brett Martel of the Associated Press

The New Orleans Hornets are expected to change their nickname to the Pelicans as early as the 2013-14 season, numerous sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Hornets planned to change their nickname since Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, purchased the team on April 14. Benson also owns the rights to the nickname Pelicans.

The Hornets also considered the nicknames Krewe (groups of costumed paraders in the annual Mardi Gras carnival in New Orleans) and Brass.

– Reported by Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports

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