NBA Game Summary - New Orleans at Minnesota
(Friday, January 22nd)
Final Score: New Orleans 96, Minnesota 94
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - James Posey played the hero again, sinking the winning layup as time expired to lift the New Orleans Hornets to a 96-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Minnesota's Jonny Flynn converted a three-point play with 3.5 seconds left to tie the contest before New Orleans called a timeout. Posey got the ball on the inbound on the right side of the court, near the three-point line, and faked a handoff to point guard Chris Paul, who drew two defenders.
Suddenly free, Posey spun toward the basket and put up his attempt with time still on the clock, and the ball dropped through as the buzzer sounded to give the Hornets the win.
Posey's play came just two days after he made a layup with 1.1 seconds to go to lift the Hornets to a 113-111 win over Memphis. It also came more than a month after New Orleans beat Minnesota in a strikingly similar way, as Paul scored the go-ahead basket with 1.4 seconds left to give the Hornets a 97-96 victory on December 9.
"Definitely a tough loss, losing at the buzzer like that," Flynn said. "Especially to them twice. Exact same play they ran, exact same thing happened."
Paul finished with 23 points and nine assists in Friday's victory, which opened a four-game road trip. Paul appeared to get poked in the eye by an elbow in the fourth quarter, but stayed in the game.
Hornets forward David West, however, left the contest in the second quarter after suffering a left ankle sprain, and did not return. West had 14 points, while Darius Songaila added 13.
Flynn had 20 points, while Al Jefferson ended with 25 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota, which hasn't beaten New Orleans in three tries this season, though the Timberwolves' average margin of defeat in those games is only four points.
A tight game throughout, New Orleans led 26-24 after the first quarter, and the game was tied, 53-53, at halftime. The Hornets held a 74-71 edge moving to the fourth, which Jefferson started with a jumper, but New Orleans ran off the next nine points to assume control.
Marcus Thornton sank a three and ended the burst with a jumper to make it an 83-73 game with 8:27 left. New Orleans' lead didn't grow larger, but the club was still up 90-85 after a Paul three with four minutes left.
However, a Jefferson slam followed by a Brewer jumper got Minnesota within one with under 2 1/2 minutes to play.
Each team then missed a series of shots, as the score remained 90-89 entering the final minute. Included in that stretch was a nice defensive play by Corey Brewer, who blocked a layup attempt by New Orleans' Darren Collison with 41.1 seconds left.
However, on the ensuing Timberwolves possession, Brewer was trapped and heaved up a pass, which Collison recovered. Minnesota was forced to foul, and Peja Stojakovic sank two free throws with 12.5 left.
Jefferson spun for a layup down low with 7.4 remaining to again make it a one- point game, and Stojakovic sank another pair a second later for a 94-91 edge. But Flynn evened the score, as he got an inbound pass, drove through an open lane on the left side and sank the layup while being fouled, then made the free throw.
Brewer and Kevin Love each scored 13 for the Timberwolves, while Ramon Sessions added 11 points...New Orleans made 28-of-34 free throws, while Minnesota sank 14-of-16...The Hornets' road trip also has them visiting the Nuggets, Blazers and Warriors...The Wolves have lost six of seven overall.
01/23 00:30:40 ET