NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at New Orleans
(Saturday, November 21st)
Final Score: New Orleans 96, Atlanta 88
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Darren Collison produced game-highs of 22 points and 11 assists, as New Orleans ended the Atlanta Hawks' seven-game winning streak with a 96-88 triumph.
Collison, filling in for the injured Chris Paul (ankle), and fellow backcourt rookie Marcus Thornton finished 1-2 in scoring with the latter pouring in 21 points.
Peja Stojakovic checked in with 17 points and David West scored 12 with 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who have strung together three straight wins under new coach Jeff Bower, who took over the head coaching duties after Byron Scott was fired last week.
Jamal Crawford had 20 points and Marvin Williams 17 for Atlanta, which entered Saturday's action with the NBA's best record at 11-2. It was the Hawks' best start since kicking off the 1997-98 season with 11 straight victories.
Josh Smith chipped in 14 points as did Joe Johnson in the club's first loss since a 20-point setback in Charlotte on November 6.
"We really wanted this win, but they came in with confidence. Marcus Thornton was definitely the story of the game. We really didn't have an answer for him," Hawks head coach Mike Woodson said. "Their guard play really helped them to get over the hump."
New Orleans owned a 22-19 edge after 12 minutes and pushed that lead to 13, 41-28, just past the midway point of the second on Thornton's three-pointer.
Atlanta made inroads to the lead with a 9-0 spurt, beginning with a Williams three and capped off by consecutive buckets from Smith, ending the half down seven, 49-42.
The Hawks twice cut the lead to three in the final minutes of the third, but both times the Hornets responded with threes courtesy of Stojakovic and Collison.
"We really battled to close out the game. We really played the fourth quarter with an outstanding mindset of attacking four minute spurts. We wanted to get off to a good start to start the quarter and we wanted to maintain our momentum in the middle," said Bower.
Collison drained another triple late to spark a 7-0 stretch that finished out the frame with New Orleans up 11, 71-60.
Thornton converted a three-point play in the early stages of the fourth to run the hosts' lead to 14 but an ensuing 9-2 run by the Hawks had them back within striking distance at 78-71 with seven minutes left.
But the Hornets knocked down two more three-pointers over the next 2 1/2 minutes with James Posey's triple dropping for a 86-74 advantage.
Atlanta could only get as close as six from there on Crawford's three-ball with 1:34 to play as New Orleans went 4-of-4 at the line down the stretch to seal the win.
The Hawks had won three straight in the series and produced a 121-98 rout in Atlanta earlier this month...Smith also notched 10 rebounds and seven assists for Atlanta while Al Horford scored 10 with 11 boards...Atlanta guard Mike Bibby suffered a sprained ankle early on and did not return.
11/22 01:34:01 ET