New Orleans Hornets guard Eric Gordon was intent on being the team’s closer this season, but it proved to be too big of a job for him to fulfill effectively.

In a number of games, Gordon struggled after halftime after having productive performances in the first half.

Although Gordon finished the season as the Hornets’ leading scorer with a 17.0 average after playing in 42 games, he averaged just 6.7 points after halftime on 33.8 percent shooting. By comparison, he made 45 percent of his shots in the first half to average just more than 10 points.

But he couldn’t avoid games like against the Minnesota Timberwolves in March, when he missed an open 3-pointer with 48 seconds remaining and had his layup attempt blocked by forward Andrei Kirilenko with 14.5 seconds left that enabled the Timberwolves to pull out a 97-95 victory.

Gordon, who missed the first 29 games of the season because of a patella disorder and bone bruise in his right knee, made 37.1 percent (36 of 97) of his 3-point attempts in the first half, but made just 25.7 percent (19 of 74) of 3s after halftime.

"This summer is a summer for him to really get healthy and get better, so that next year he’s at full clip,’’ Coach Monty Williams said. "That’s what we anticipate, and that’s probably why they put these restrictions on him, to get him to the summertime, so he can fully recover from the surgery.”

There were plenty of games in which Gordon scored in double figures but was unable to shoot at a high percentage from the field.