NBA Game Summary - Houston at New Orleans/Oklahoma City
(Sunday, March 25th)
Final Score: New Orleans/Oklahoma City 106, Houston 94
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Chris Paul scored 28 points, including a career-high four three-pointers and David West added 23 as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets downed the Houston Rockets, 106-94, at the Ford Center.
Desmond Mason registered 19 points for the Hornets, who have won four of their last six games. Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans/Oklahoma City.
Leading 93-91, the Hornets closed the game with a 13-3 run, capped by a Mason steal and dunk which put the margin at 12, 106-94 with just 28 seconds to go.
Tracy McGrady poured in 31 points for Houston, which had a five-game winning streak snapped. Yao Ming added 16 points, Luther Head 15 and Rafer Alston 12 for the Rockets, who could have clinched a playoff spot with a win and a Golden State loss.
McGrady came out hot, scoring 13 points in the first frame and the Rockets led 30-20 after one quarter.
New Orleans trimmed the margin to 52-44 by the half.
"We talked about us giving up points from things we thought they were going to do," Hornets coach Byron Scott said.
The Hornets came out of the locker room energized and took the lead on Paul's running jumper with just over three minutes remaining in the third period.
After Houston recaptured the lead on an Alston triple, the Hornets took it back for good when Paul drilled a trey with two seconds left in the stanza.
The Hornets held a 75-73 edge heading into the final quarter.
The Hornets began to distance themselves, scoring the first four points of the fourth frame to go ahead 79-73, but Houston fought back and two Yao free throws pulled the Rockets within one, 83-82 with 6:43 to go.
Paul then stretched the lead back to six, 88-82 with a three and a running jumper. Houston responded by scoring the next five points before West's layup ended the run with 3:59 remaining.
After McGrady's layup again brought Houston within one, 90-89, Paul converted a three-point play to put the Rockets back up 93-89. With 3:10 remaining, McGrady then made another driving layup before the Hornets went on their run.
"We didn't start off well," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "In the middle of the first quarter, I thought that we played better defense than in the beginning of the first."
The Hornets outrebounded the Rockets 43-35...The Hornets shot 49.4 percent while the Rockets shot 43.5 percent from the field...The Hornets have won all three matchups between these two this season and seven of the last eight overall.
03/25 23:20:56 ET