NBA Game Summary - Seattle at New Orleans
(Sunday, December 9th)
Final Score: New Orleans 91, Seattle 88
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Chris Paul scored 29 points and dished out 10 assists to lift New Orleans to a 91-88 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.
David West contributed 15 points and 10 assists, and the Hornets escaped some free throw misses in the final minute to win for the fourth time in five games.
"This is a great win for us, but at the same time we have to do things better," Paul said. "That third quarter was horrendous, and they got back in the game and had a chance to win. I think we are a lot better than we showed."
Kevin Durant had 23 points for the Sonics, who had a two-game win streak broken.
West hit a lefty runner in the lane with 1:16 left for an 86-82 New Orleans lead, but Durant came back with a three-pointer with 24.1 seconds left.
Bobby Jackson then hit two foul shots, and after Durant missed at the other end, all the Hornets had to do was seal the victory at the foul line. However, West missed 1-of-2, and Earl Watson then nailed a three from the right corner with seven seconds left for an 89-88 margin.
Jannero Pargo, who hadn't missed any of his 15 free throws this season, then went to the line with six seconds left. However, he missed both shots.
Nick Collison got the rebound, but immediately threw wide of Durant, as the ball sailed out of bounds along the right sideline.
Paul then hit two foul shots with 1.5 seconds left, and the Sonics failed to get off a three-pointer at the end, instead having Wally Szczerbiak missing a shot inside the arc after a deflection.
Tyson Chandler had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Hornets, who won despite being outrebounded, 56-43.
"We just didn't do a real good job of boxing them out and keeping them off the glass," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "I thought in the second half that they were much more the aggressor and we were real passive until the game got on the line again."
Szczerbiak had 14 points, while Chris Wilcox tallied 13 points and 12 boards for Seattle. Kurt Thomas had 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Watson chipped in 12 points and eight assists.
"We weren't ready to play," Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "We played the second half. If we had played the way we played in the second half, we probably would have won the game. We were lucky to be where we were. We're terrible. Our defense was a disgrace. We ran the wrong plays. I don't know where we were."
New Orleans scored 12 of the game's first 15 points, but only led 23-17 going into the second quarter. The Hornets boosted that lead to 52-41 at the half, but Seattle scored the first eight points of the third.
Seattle's only lead came on a Durant jam with 4:22 remaining, moving the Sonics up, 78-77, but Paul came right back with a three-pointer and another bucket.
The Hornets have won three straight meetings...Seattle has lost seven of its last nine on the road to the Hornets...Paul went 10-of-16 from the field, while Durant was 7-of-22...Collison had 12 rebounds...The Sonics shot 37.8 percent, eight percent less than the Hornets.
12/09 22:46:20 ET