Hornets 87, Grizzlies 79
Wednesday, January 18th 2006, 10:14 pm
By: News On 6
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ David West had 12 points and 13 rebounds and New Orleans beat the Memphis Grizzlies 87-79 on Wednesday night to surpass its win total from last season.
The Hornets won their fourth straight game for the first time since December 2003. They also evened their record at 19-19.
West, the Hornets' leading scorer with a 16.9-point average, started the game 1-for-8 from the field and had only two points at the start of the fourth quarter. He continued to struggle, but made up for it with his effort on the offensive glass.
He had three offensive rebound putbacks down the stretch as the Hornets sealed the win.
Mike Miller scored 21 points to lead Memphis, which has lost three games in a row for the second time this season. Bobby Jackson added 13 points, Shane Battier had 10 and Pau Gasol, the Grizzlies' top scorer with 19.9 points per game, finished with nine.
Speedy Claxton gave the Hornets a 69-67 lead when he cut into the lane, took a pass from Chris Paul and scored a layup. West followed with a jumper from the left side for only his second basket of the game and then stretched the lead to six points when his third tip-in try went down.
Miller responded with a 3-pointer from the left wing for the Grizzlies, but West again put back his own miss for a 75-70 lead.
Battier's tip-in pulled Memphis within a point, but West again had an answer with a jumper from the right side for a 77-74 lead. He put back his own miss again the next time down to maintain New Orleans' three-point lead.
Jackson had two chances to tie the game with 3-pointers from the left side before Paul's 3 from the right wing extended New Orleans' lead to 82-76. Claxton hit three free throws and Paul had two more to keep the Hornets in control.
Paul finished with 16 points and nine assists, P.J. Brown scored 15 and Claxton added 14 points and eight assists. West finished 6-for-18 from the field.
Chris Andersen, who missed the Hornets' last two games with the flu, had four dunks during a 15-6 run that put New Orleans ahead 38-30 midway through the second quarter.
The Hornets held a 48-39 halftime lead, but the Grizzlies used a 11-2 run to start the third quarter to tie the game at 50.
Notes: Grizzlies center Lorenzen Wright missed the game with a bruised left knee. Guard Dahntay Jones started in his place as the Grizzlies used a smaller lineup. ... The game was originally scheduled in Baton Rouge, La., but was moved to the Ford Center after poor turnout at a December game in Baton Rouge. Three other Baton Rouge games in March were moved to New Orleans.