NBA Game Summary - Seattle at New Orleans/Oklahoma City
(Wednesday, February 8th)
Final Score: New Orleans/Oklahoma City 109, Seattle 102
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Rasual Butler's wide-open three with 15 ticks left put New Orleans/Oklahoma City in front to stay, as the Hornets defeated Seattle, 109-102, at the Ford Center.
David West poured in 26 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and P.J. Brown added 21 points and nine boards in the Hornets' fifth victory in six games.
The victory didn't come without a price, as guard Speedy Claxton and rookie phenom Chris Paul both left the game with injuries. Claxton played only 34 seconds before leaving the contest with a mild concussion late in the first period, while Paul had nine points and six assists before exiting with just over seven minutes left in the half. The guard collided with Seattle's Nick Collison and appeared to injure his ribs. He returned at the beginning of the third, but left the game and was replaced by none other than Butler.
Butler scored 14 points and Kirk Snyder posted a double-double with 16 points and a career-high 12 assists in the victory.
"It was a heck of a win," Hornets head coach Byron Scott said. "We lost those two guys, and you know how much they mean to us and how much we count on them to take the ball handling duties. We made some adjustments at halftime and had David West bring it up a few times, as well as Desmond Mason, who did a good job."
Rashard Lewis scored a game-high 34 points and Ray Allen struggled to 18 points on 6-of-21 shooting. Luke Ridnour and Nick Collison scored 12 points apiece in Seattle's fourth straight loss.
"I thought Rashard was special," Sonics head coach Bob Hill said. "What I don't understand, is how he can get beaten up time and time again, and only shoot six free throws. It's not just about tonight�s game, but night in and night out. He's a great player and he deserves to go to the line more."
A back-and-forth third period ended with New Orleans/Oklahoma City holding a 77-73 lead.
After Lewis made a jumper to put the Sonics in front 90-86 with 5:27 left, West converted a layup on the other end. Then, Lewis drained a trey from the top of the circle to push Seattle's lead to 93-88.
New Orleans/Oklahoma City responded with four straight points, and moments later West's high-arching baseline jumper brought the Hornets within one again at 95-94. Allen then slashed to the basket and scored, but Brown followed West's air ball with a slam at 2:27.
Collison's jumper put Seattle in front by three, 99-96, but Desmond Mason drained two free throws with 1:50 left as the two clubs continued to trade punches.
A Seattle turnover resulted in Brown getting fouled, and the big man made both from the stripe to give the Hornets a 100-99 lead with 1:20 left. Lewis then drained his third three of the fourth stanza to put Seattle up two. West made two free throws on the other end to tie the contest at 102-102 with 42.3 left.
Ridnour missed a trey and Butler, off a great ball reversal, buried an open trey to give the Hornets a three-point edge with 15 seconds left. Allen missed a game-tying three and New Orleans/Oklahoma City made its free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
The Hornets held a 26-20 lead after one stanza and used a 12-2 spurt paced by Paul's five points that pushed the edge to 38-22. Paul's three followed by West's jumper opened the 16-point lead.
Moments later, Paul left the game with the rib injury and momentum quickly swung in Seattle's favor. A 25-11 scoring stretch to end the half tied the contest at 47-47.
The SuperSonics are just 8-17 on the road this season...The Hornets are 16-8 at home this season...New Orleans/Oklahoma City shot 52 percent from the floor...The Hornets won the earlier meeting, 105-99, on November 26 in Seattle...Mason had 15 points.
02/09 00:19:10 ET