Hornets 97, Warriors 93
Tuesday, November 7th 2006, 11:32 am
News On 6
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Chris Paul had 22 points and 11 assists, Peja Stojakovic converted a go-ahead three-point play, and the New Orleans Hornets beat the Golden State Warriors 97-93 Tuesday night for their best start in franchise history.
After the Warriors had rallied from a 15-point deficit to go up by three, Stojakovic made a pair of free throws and then scored while being fouled on a pass from Paul to put the Hornets up 92-90 with 1:35 left.
Former Hornets first-round draft pick Baron Davis had two shots to give the Warriors the lead, but both of his 3-pointers from the left wing were off target.
Desmond Mason then stole Monta Ellis' lob pass, and Paul made one of two free throws to give the Hornets (4-0) a three-point lead with 11.3 seconds remaining. Anthony Roberson's 3-pointer on Golden State's ensuing possession was an airball, and David West hit two free throws to stretch New Orleans' edge to five.
Davis then connected on a 3-pointer, and Stojakovic sealed the victory with two more foul shots.
Stojakovic scored 18 points, West had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Mason added 12 points. Tyson Chandler had 10 points and 14 rebounds as the Hornets dominated the offensive glass, piling up 21 rebounds of their own missed shots.
The Hornets' 4-0 start is their best since being created as an expansion franchise before the 1988-89 season. Previously, their most wins to start a season was three in 2003-04.
After Philadelphia's loss Tuesday night, the Hornets and Utah Jazz _ both 4-0 _ are the NBA's only remaining undefeated teams.
Last season, Stojakovic was on the short end of the Hornets' first regular-season game in their temporary home. His Sacramento Kings lost 93-67 at the Ford Center last November.
This time, the sellout crowd of 19,164 was behind him the whole way.
He had three baskets _ a jumper and two 3-pointers _ all set up by Paul as New Orleans opened a 20-11 lead with an early 16-4 run. The Hornets led 52-43 at halftime on the strength of 14 offensive rebounds that led to 19 second-chance points.
New Orleans then scored the first six points after halftime to take its largest lead at 58-43, but Golden State came back with a 17-4 run to pull within two.
The Warriors took an 86-85 lead on Roberson's 3-pointer with 4:37 left, and they were up 90-87 on Davis' two-handed jam on a fast break. But that's when Stojakovic took over.
Davis finished with 22 points to lead Golden State, Ellis scored 17 and Roberson scored a career-high 15.
Notes: The Hornets wore Oklahoma City jerseys to celebrate the city's home opener. The only other time the jerseys have been worn was for the Oklahoma City finale last season. ... Golden State's Mickael Pietrus didn't play with a sprained left ankle. Ike Diogu sprained his left ankle in the second quarter and did not return. ... Hornets coach Byron Scott said forward Marc Jackson is ahead of schedule in his return from a strained right hamstring. He was expected to miss the first month of the season. ``He says he feels great, and that's what I've got to believe,'' Scott said. ``But I've also got to be very cautious as far as rushing him back because we didn't do that last time and he still hurt it.''