NBA Game Summary - LA Clippers at New Orleans/Oklahoma City
(Wednesday, December 14th)
Final Score: New Orleans/Oklahoma City 102, LA Clippers 89
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - J.R. Smith led six Hornets in double figures with 21 points, as New Orleans/Oklahoma City defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, 102-89, at the Ford Center.
David West tallied 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Desmond Mason contributed 15 points in the victory.
Speedy Claxton and P.J. Brown each added 14 points, and Chris Paul scored 13 points and dished out eight assists for the Hornets, who have won two straight after a five-game losing streak.
"Our two guards, CP (Paul) and Speedy, are getting used to penetrating a lot and everybody else is just getting open," Smith said. "We just got to knock our shots down."
Sam Cassell led the Clippers with 26 points and Elton Brand added 22 in the loss. Cuttino Mobley tallied 16 points and Chris Kaman contributed nine points and grabbed nine boards for Los Angeles, which has lost three straight games.
The Hornets held a 28-22 edge after the first quarter. New Orleans/Oklahoma City quickly opened a 14-point lead, 39-27, with just over nine minutes to play in the half. An 11-5 spurt to open the period was punctuated by Smith's three-pointer.
The Clippers trimmed the deficit to nine, 59-50, at the break. Brand's 19 points and Cassell's 16 points kept Los Angeles within striking distance.
Smith and West each tallied 12 first-half points for the red-hot Hornets, who shot 59.5 percent in the opening 24 minutes.
Balanced scoring from New Orleans/Oklahoma City expanded the advantage. Five Hornets contributed to a 20-12 scoring stretch that saw the edge expand to 79-62 on West's jumper with a little under four minutes left in the third.
The Hornets led 82-66 after three quarters.
The lead grew to 21 points, 91-70, on Claxton's layup with just under nine minutes remaining.
However, the listless Clippers seemed to finally wake up behind the play of Cassell. He attacked the basket and converted six free throws and a layup, while Mobley's jump shot capped a 15-4 spurt that trimmed the deficit to 95-87 with just under 3 1/2 minutes left.
Los Angeles got no closer and New Orleans/Oklahoma City made its free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
"They came out with more energy and worked harder which created more opportunities," Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Their guards pressured the ball well and had us back on our heals the whole night."
The Hornets shot 49.3 percent from the floor, while the Clippers shot 46.5 percent. New Orleans/Oklahoma City is 5-4 at home this season, while Los Angeles is 5-6 on the road...Los Angeles has still won three of the last five meetings, but the Clippers have lost eight of 10 at the Hornets...Clippers guard Corey Maggette missed the game with a foot injury.
12/15 02:16:32 ET