Hornets 92, Rockets 90
Wednesday, December 28th 2005, 10:14 pm
By: News On 6
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ David West's jump shot from the foul line with 1.8 seconds remaining gave the New Orleans Hornets a 92-90 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.
West's shot came on Chris Paul's 15th assist, a career high for the rookie, and helped the Hornets end a two-game losing streak. Houston lost its fourth straight despite a season-high 38 points from Tracy McGrady.
McGrady's two free throws with 12 seconds left tied it at 90. After West's shot, the Rockets were able to get the ball inside to Stromile Swift, who had a season-best 26, but his shot was off the mark. Swift also has a season-high 13 rebounds.
Rasual Butler carried the Hornets in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 of his 15 points. He hit three straight 3-pointers to cap a 13-0 run in just over three minutes that gave the Hornets an 86-76 lead with 4:12 remaining.
New Orleans made just one field goal the rest of the way before West hit his big shot.
McGrady scored 21 points in the first half against Utah on Tuesday night before leaving at halftime when he learned his fiancee had gone into labor. He picked up where he left off Wednesday with 10 in the first quarter and 23 at halftime, then helped lead the Rockets during the third quarter when they opened as much as a nine-point lead.
The Hornets led by as many as 12 in the first quarter and had an 11-point lead before McGrady and David Wesley led a surge that got the Rockets within four at halftime.
J.R. Smith, just 2-of-19 in the previous three games, scored 16 for the Hornets and Speedy Claxton had 14.
Notes: The Hornets hadn't played in four days. Wednesday night started a stretch of four games in five days. ... A fan made a half-court shot during a timeout in the third quarter to win a car, setting off one of the loudest roars of the night from the crowd. ... Official Joe Forte had a memory lapse in the first half when he called Charlotte for delay of game. The Hornets left Charlotte after the 2001-02 season.