When the entertainment highlight of a professional basketball game is the announcers showing off a Desmond Mason bobblehead or the sideline reporters' third-quarter interview with a beekeeper, the on-court action must not be very exciting. But with the team playing to stay in the playoff chase, Wednesday's Ford Center game should have been riveting.
Hornets starters Tyson Chandler and former Oklaoma State player Mason fell victim to the Seattle Supersonics' Chris Wilcox in the first half.
Playing for their not-quite-a-shot-in-the-dark playoff chances, the Hornets and Sonics volleyed the lead back and forth through the first half. Wilcox stepped on Chandler's toe in the first quarter which sent the grimacing big man to the bench.
Later in the second quarter, Wilcox's wayward "? and evidently sharp "? elbow knocked Mason down and then out of the game and eventually to a local hospital for a precautionary cat scan. However, before Wilcox could inflict further doom on the Hornets' team, he suffered an ankle injury.
With only nine healthy players left, the Hornets inched out to a four-point halftime lead and then used a 30-point third-quarter burst to stretch their margin to 13. Either the Sonics' defense or the Hornets' fatigue kept the boys in turquoise blue to a six-point fourth quarter and tied the game at 84 at the end of regulation.
The Hornets swarmed back in the overtime to win the game 101-92.