Paul, West Lead Hornets Past Rockets

Sunday, March 25th 2007, 9:38 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Chris Paul scored 28 points and David West added 23 to lead the New Orleans Hornets to a 106-94 win Sunday night against the Houston Rockets. Paul and West teamed up to score 18 of the Hornets' final 25 points as the Hornets picked up a crucial win for their playoff hopes.

New Orleans finished the game on a 13-3 run, punctuated by Desmond Mason's steal and dunk in the final minute. Hornets center Tyson Chandler threw his hands in the air in celebration, and a sellout crowd came to its feet and twirled white rally towels as the clock ticked down.

It was New Orleans' first win against a Western Conference playoff team since Feb. 7 against Denver and moved the Hornets within 1 1/2 games of the idle Los Angeles Clippers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.

Following a six-game losing streak, the Hornets have won four of their past six games.

Tracy McGrady scored 31 points to lead Houston, which had a five-game winning streak snapped. Yao Ming added 16 points, Luther Head scored 15 off the bench and Rafer Alston had 12.

Mason scored 19 points and Chandler had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets.