Crowd count is just 15,647Tuesday's crowd of 15,647 was the smallest for a regularly scheduled Hornets game at the Ford Center. There were just 17 people seated in Section 305. Last year's Jan. 18 home game against Memphis drew 14,554 fans, but that game originally was scheduled to be played in Baton Rogue, La., and was moved to the Ford Center. The game was not part of the regular-season ticket package. • Peja, West await tests: Hornets coach Byron Scott said the team is awaiting test results on Peja Stojakovic and David West to determine when both can return to the lineup. Stojakovic, who is suffering from back spasms, missed his second straight game Tuesday against the Toronto Raptors at the Ford Center. West missed his eighth straight game because of an injured right elbow. Stojakovic underwent an MRI exam Tuesday, and the Hornets were expected to receive the results Tuesday night. Stojakovic, who did not attend Tuesday night's game, complained to Scott about lingering pain in his back. "He said just washing his hands the other day, he bent over and it kind of spasmed again on him," Scott said. "It's just a matter of us getting some more information and finding out where he is, and if we can be a little more aggressive in what we're doing as long as there is no serious damage." Scott said West was progressing well, but his status for Friday's game is in question as well. "The last test we got was good news and we're waiting on one more," Scott said of West. "If it's the same thing we can be a little more aggressive with what we have to do with him as far as getting more flexibility back in that arm." • Jackson surprised at fine amount: Guard Bobby Jackson knew he was going to receive a fine for Saturday night's altercation with a referee that ultimately led to him being ejected. But Jackson said before Tuesday night's game that he didn't expect the league to slap him with a $20,000 fine. "Yeah, I was surprised," Jackson said. Scott said everyone expected a fine, but the team was unsure whether or not Jackson would be suspended. "We're all happy he didn't get suspended," Scott said. "When you have Peja and David out, you can't afford to lose another key piece." • Butler starts at shooting guard: As expected, Rasual Butler started at shooting guard for the injured Stojakovic on Tuesday night. Butler, who replaced Jackson in the starting lineup, is expected to start as long as Stojakovic is sidelined. "I felt like if I started him it would jump start him," Scott said. "I know putting him in the (starting) lineup was something he did pretty well with last year, so I'm hoping it gets him going." Butler entered the game having scored nine points on 4-for-20 shooting with seven rebounds in his past three games. He made two of his first four shots for five points to go with three rebounds and one assist in the game's first 10 minutes Tuesday night. By halftime he had scored a team-high 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting. • NBDL not an option: With Stojakovic and West both sidelined indefinitely because of injuries, Scott said the NBA's Developmental League is not an option at this time. "We don't have a choice as far as sending somebody down right now," Scott said. "Not with these two guys out. We got to get completely healthy before we even start thinking about that." • Vinicius' game minutes come at right time: Rookie forward Marcus Vinicius played his first game of the season in garbage time of Saturday's 85-73 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Vinicius didn't score in nine minutes and grabbed one rebound while turning the ball over once and committing three fouls. Scott, however, said Vinicius is a player who needs playing time to help his development. "It's just like most rookies that don't play a whole lot in their first year," Scott said. "They need that playing time for experience. Practice can be real important for them, but they also need the experience of being out there. "He knows how to play and he plays hard. So putting him in there for four or five minutes I don't think is going to lose the game for us. But it's got to be in the right situation. I don't want to throw him in the fire and he gets eaten up or something." By Darnell Mayberry
NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.