Lopez, Anderson lead Hornets to a road victoryBy Dana Gauruder, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Mon, Feb 11, 2013 11:21 PM EST
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Robin Lopez got the New Orleans Hornets rolling in the early going Monday, and Ryan Anderson buried the Detroit Pistons the rest of the way. Lopez scored 13 of his 23 points in the opening quarter, and Anderson scored all but two of his 31 points in the last three quarters of a 105-86 Hornets victory at The Palace. Lopez recorded his eighth consecutive double-double, the longest such streak of his career. He shot 64.3 percent in the first seven games of the streak and continued that efficiency against Detroit, going 9-for-13 from the field. "It's really easy when I've got guys looking for me," he said. "They gave me the ball right at the rim and I just have to put it in." Known for his long-range shooting, Anderson was a threat all over the court while coming three points shy of his career high. He made 13 of 21 attempts, including 5 of 9 3-point tries. "He's not only a shooter. You saw him attacking the basket and his ability to take guys his size to the rim," New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. "He had one play in the first half where he pump faked, went to the basket and dunked the ball. I don't think anybody in the gym thought he would dunk that ball." Al-Farouq Aminu added 12 points and 14 rebounds for New Orleans (18-34), which had lost seven of its last 10 games. The Hornets gave up the first eight points of the game but shut down the Pistons the rest of the way, holding them to 35.8 percent shooting. That was Detroit's worst shooting performance since it shot 34.1 percent against Dallas on Dec. 1. "Other than the initial spurt, our defense was horrible," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "You have to give them credit. They played much harder than us, much tougher, more physical, more intense. Monty had his guys ready. I didn't." Rodney Stuckey's 19 points led Detroit (20-33), which had won its last two games. Greg Monroe had 17 points and 11 rebounds for his seventh straight double-double, the longest such streak by a Piston since Ben Wallace recorded seven straight in February 2003. But three key Pistons -- Brandon Knight, Charlie Villanueva and Will Bynum -- shot a combined 5-for-25. "I don't think our guys were out there taking bad shots, I don't think that has been the case any time this season," Monroe said. "They did a good job of playing defense and we didn't get as many looks as we did in previous games." A matchup between two of the league's top frontcourt rookies, New Orleans' Anthony Davis and Detroit's Andre Drummond, was scuttled last week when Drummond was declared out for 4-6 weeks because of a stress fracture to his fifth lumbar vertebra. Davis, the top pick in the draft, had just one point but had four of New Orleans' 10 blocks. Lopez and Anderson combined for 32 points in the first half as New Orleans grabbed a 55-41 halftime lead. Detroit was unable to cut the deficit to single digits throughout the second half. Austin Rivers' fast-break layup after a Greivis Vasquez steal gave New Orleans a 66-48 lead with 7:11 left in the third. A corner 3-pointer by Anderson less than three minutes later nudged the advantage to 19 and a three-point play by Vasquez made it 75-55. The Pistons turned up their backcourt pressure in an attempt to rally but could only get within 15 early in the fourth. Kyle Singler's three-point play and Stuckey's layup finally got the margin down to 12 with 3:54 remaining. Anderson then delivered the clincher, firing in another 3-pointer. "Ryan is such an integral part of our team," Lopez said. "When we really need a basket, he's got such great touch and great instincts. He's a really smart player and makes it a lot easier on us." NOTES: Hornets guard Eric Gordon sat out on the second game of a back-to-back to protect his oft-injured right knee. Rivers started in his place and scored seven points. ... The Pistons rank fifth in rebounds per game (43.8) after finishing 27th last season at 40.3 but got out-rebounded 49-41 by New Orleans. ... Monroe has 20 20-point, 10-rebound game since the 2011-12 season. Only three Eastern Conference players have more -- LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Josh Smith. ...Corey Maggette, the Pistons' highest-paid player, is healthy but hasn't appeared in a game since Dec. 15. ... Vasquez, who averaged 19 points and 10 assists in his last three outings, contributed nine points and 13 assists. ... New Orleans has used seven lineups this season, compared to 27 during the lockout-shortened season a year ago.
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