NEW ORLEANS — No Anthony Davis. No Austin Rivers. No Eric Gordon.
The end result?
A franchise low for points in a game.
The Hornets couldn’t find a legitimate offensive option Wednesday and, because of it, lost to Philadelphia 77-62.
“I’ve told our guys since we’ve been here that there’s one way that we play and there’s one way that we’re going to be successful, especially when we have guys out,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said. “We have to play with more force. I didn’t see that tonight. Then, you have 24 turnovers.”
New Orleans’ previous all-time franchise low was 63 points, set in a playoff loss against Denver in 2009. The Hornets twice scored just 65 points in a regular game.
Everything that had gone right in the previous two games, both wins, went wrong against the 76ers (2-2). New Orleans (2-2) turned the ball over 24 times while making only 23 shots. New Orleans shot just 33.3 percent for the night.
“That’s rough,” Hornets forward Jason Smith said. “That’s rough. On our point we can’t do that as a team. We can’t play like that. We have to play as efficient as possible. 24 turnovers on our part is just almost giving away the game.”
Five 76ers scored in double figures, led by Jrue Holiday and Evan Turners’ 14 points. Holliday added 12 assists.
Only Al-Farouq Aminu scored in double figures for the Hornets, recording just 10 points on 3 of 10 shooting. He added a career-high 16 rebounds – little solace when the team was historically bad.
“They slowed the game down,” said Smith, who finished with eight points and five blocked shots off the bench. “They ran their sets. Shots weren’t falling for them just like they weren’t falling for us. But they changed it around in the second half and they were more aggressive than us.”
In spite of hitting just 14 of 37 shots in the first half, including 1 of 8 from 3-point range, the Hornets went into the break up 37-36. They did so by forcing 14 Philadelphia turnovers and not allowing the 76ers to get to the free-throw line.
But the opening third of the fourth quarter changed everything.
New Orleans started the second half by turning the ball over five times and going 0-for-3 from the floor. While Philadelphia was only 4 of 10 in that same four-minute stretch, the 10-0 run was enough to put the Hornets away.
“We really just tried to pick it up,” Philadelphia’s Holiday said. “Coach (Doug Collins) kind of reamed us at halftime. We tried to pressure everything.”