NBA Game Summary - Minnesota at New Orleans
(Wednesday, March 18th)
Final Score: New Orleans 94, Minnesota 93
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Chris Paul executed a perfect pass that led to a David West dunk with 12.3 seconds left for his 10th assist of the night, and the New Orleans Hornets escaped with a 94-93 victory over the Minnesota T'Wolves at New Orleans Arena.
Paul finished with 26 points and five steals for the Hornets, who have won 10- of-13 overall. West had 14 points and eight rebounds, while Rasual Butler also had 14. Hilton Armstrong added 12 points for the victors.
"We had to get this win," West said. "We haven't played well (lately). I couldn't get rhythm -- I have been kind of out of it the past three or four games."
Kevin Love paced the Timberwolves with 23 points and 11 boards, but Minnesota dropped its 13th game in its last 15 contests. Ryan Gomes provided 17 points, while Rodney Carney had 12 in the loss.
"I got off to a slow start, was missing a couple shots early," Love said. "I really came out and put that first half behind me, wanted to get a win, get out ahead of those guys. (The Hornets) just ran some good plays down the stretch and hit some big shots."
Randy Foye had 11 and missed a last-second shot that would have won the game, and Sebastian Telfair finished with 10 for Minnesota.
Five straight points from Craig Smith allowed Minnesota to close to within one, 76-75, with 7:20 to play, and Foye's three-pointer put the T'Wolves ahead, 82-80, with just over four minutes left.
Telfair's three made it 89-85 with a little more than 2 1/2 minutes on the clock, but West pulled the Hornets to within one on a layup with two minutes left.
West added two free throws to give New Orleans a 92-91 lead with 1:12 left, but Love hit a pair from the line with 28.4 ticks to go, putting Minnesota ahead by a point.
Paul found West for an easy dunk with 12.6 seconds left to continue the back- and-forth battle and put the Hornets ahead, and Foye's last-second leaning baseline jumper was off the mark, as the hosts escaped with the win.
Paul's nine points led the Hornets to a 24-16 lead after the first quarter, and New Orleans led by four, 48-44, at halftime.
The Timberwolves tied the game at 66 after Love made a pair of free throws and hit a layup with 1:46 left in the third, but the Hornets closed out the quarter on an 8-0 burst, and a Paul three-point play finished the period with New Orleans ahead, 74-66.
New Orleans leads the season series, 2-1...The Hornets improved to 24-10 at home, while Minnesota fell to 10-23 on the road...New Orleans center Tyson Chandler missed the game with a sore ankle, while Peja Stojakovic sat out his eighth straight game with a back injury.
03/19 01:00:22 ET