Hornets Take Down Celtics As Austin Rivers Beats His Dad
New Orleans Hornets rookie Austin Rivers didn't pretend like Wednesday night's game against the Boston Celtics (20-18) was like any other game. After all, his Father, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, would be competing against him. In the end, Austin (who finished with 8 points in 23 minutes off the bench) and his teammates earned an impressive 90-78 victory Wednesday night in Boston.
"For us to come in here and play against one of the best teams in the NBA and get a win feels really good," said the young Rivers after the game. "My Dad didn't really say anything to me. Just before the game and after the game that he loved me and just told me to go out there and compete."
Doc didn't pretend either. For example, he didn't pretend like it was fun to coach against his Son.
"It's a strange dynamic. I didn't enjoy it," said Doc. "I know it's neat for everyone else."
Aside from the family storyline, the victory was another example of how far the Hornets (13-26) have come this season. The odds were stacked against them. With Wednesday's game being the second of a back-to-back, coach Monty Williams elected to rest Eric Gordon. Gordon continues to ease his way back into play since returning several weeks ago from a knee injury. They also turned it over 18 times, and were 2-17 from beyond the arc. So how did they win?
Simply put, the Hornets outworked the Celtics. A 48-33 rebounding advantage, as well as a 48-32 advantage in points in the paint. New Orleans attacked the rim, earning 31 trips to the charity stripe.
Al-Farouq Aminu (pictured) was sensational. The small forward scored a game-high 18 points, pulled down 9 rebounds, and was 12-13 from the free throw line. Anthony Davis was active all over the floor. He clogged up Boston's passing lanes, using his length. Davis finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.
On his 26th birthday, Greivis Vasquez finished with a double-double (15 points, 11 assists) as well, while Robin Lopez poured in 17 points.
"We've been working hard all year," said Vasquez. "It's starting to pay off...but we still have a lot of work to do."
Despite winning 6 of their last 7, Monty Williams won't let his team get a big head.
"If you look at our record, we're in no position to laud or get happy about a couple of wins," Williams explained. "We've got a lot of work to do. I'm more concerned about our next practice -- how our guys prepare and come focused for that practice. That will tell me about our growth."
The Hornets will return to the Crescent City for a two-game home stand. Next up, a Saturday night showdown with the Golden State Warriors. Tip-off is set for 7:00.