HUGE GAME FOR POPS

Brit baller Pops Mensah-Bonsu has boosted his chances of making the New Orleans Hornets’ roster with a fantastic double-double.

The Team GB power forward had 19 points and 10 rebounds, as well as four steals, in the Hornets’ 96-91 pre-season loss away to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Mensah-Bonsu, who was a key part of the GB side that this summer successfully qualified for EuroBasket 2011, is fighting for a guaranteed NBA contract – with the season set to start next Tuesday.

“I’m trying to show Coach that I can impact a game whether its rebounding, deflecting the ball away or scoring, ” he said afterwards. “I got 10 rebounds, but for the minutes I played, I felt that I missed on an opportunity to get four or five more.’’

“I thought Pops gave us energy,’’ Hornets Coach Monty Williams said. “For him to have a double-double off the bench is encouraging.’’

The 27-year-old will be looking to impress in the team’s final two pre-season games away to the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday and Kevin Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

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