NBA Game Summary - New York at New Orleans
(Friday, April 4th)
Final Score: New Orleans 118, New York 110
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Chris Paul finished with 33 points and 15 assists, as the New Orleans Hornets clinched a playoff spot with a 118-110 win over the New York Knicks, and picked up ground at the top of the Western Conference.
Peja Stojakovic had 22 points for the Hornets, who have won four in a row and moved 1 1/2 games in front of San Antonio for the top spot in both the conference and Southwest Division. The Spurs lost at Utah on Friday.
"It's good. We accomplished one of the things we set out to accomplish at the beginning of the year," New Orleans' David West said. "The season is not done, just because we are in. We want to get a good position."
West scored 17 and grabbed seven rebounds for New Orleans, which hasn't lost a home game since dropping a 95-92 decision to Washington on February 25.
Jamal Crawford ended with 29 points and nine assists, while Nate Robinson added 23 points off the bench for the Knicks, who have lost five in a row and 10 of 11.
"The Knicks are a lot better than their record says. They have a lot of great individual players," Paul said. "Jamal Crawford is unbelievable. He can really shoot the ball."
Zach Randolph had 22 points and 12 boards, while David Lee finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Crawford connected on a jumper to begin the fourth quarter, and Robinson followed with a three-point play, to put New York ahead, 91-87. The Knicks continued to run in front for several minutes until the Hornets scored eight straight points.
"That fear of losing kind of jumped in," Hornets head coach Byron Scott said. "I'm not real happy about the way we played. I know that it's a win, but we are trying to get ready for something much bigger."
Stojakovic started the run with a jumper, Bonzi Wells had a pair of buckets, and Paul finished it with a layup for a 99-95 New Orleans lead, with just over nine minutes remaining.
From there the Hornets maintained a lead of several possessions until a Stojakovic layup started another New Orleans run. The surge was just for six points, but came with just three minutes left.
Paul and West each made a pair of free throws, with West's boosting the Hornets' advantage to 117-104, and with a little more than two minutes left, New York couldn't mount a comeback.
The teams played to a 29-29 tie after one quarter, and a West dunk gave New Orleans a 60-56 edge at halftime. Paul made a pair of free throws at the end of the third quarter, and the teams went into the final period tied at 87-87.
Wells finished with eight points...With a three-pointer in the first quarter, Stojakovic recorded his 208th trey of the year, a new franchise record; The mark was previously set by Glen Rice during the 1996-97 campaign...New York shot 55 percent from the field, but just 4-of-16 from three-point range...New Orleans made 51.2 percent of its shots overall, including 8-of-20 three-point attempts...The Knicks had a 41-33 rebounding edge...West blocked four shots, while Tyson Chandler had three blocks for the Hornets on top of 14 points and eight boards...Paul had two steals to set a franchise record in a season with 194; The previous mark was held by Eddie Jones, set during the 1999-2000 season.
04/04 23:59:01 ET