Monday , Feb , 27 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Hornets have some sting

(Sports Network) – The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets are a surprising
31-25 and are in the thick of the playoff race in the Western Conference.

They are not going to win the Southwest Division, as the Hornets are a distant
13 1/2 games behind the division-leading Dallas Mavericks. However, New
Orleans/Oklahoma City is currently the sixth seed in the West and is one game
ahead of No. 7 Memphis.

On Sunday, David West poured in 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, and
rookie Chris Paul added 19 points and eight assists, as New Orleans/Oklahoma
City defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 88-75, at the Rose Garden.

Rasual Butler tallied 13 points in the win over Portland for the Hornets, who
dominated the Blazers to a 27-14 count in the final quarter to win for the
11th time in their last 14 games overall

The Hornets are scheduled to visit the Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday and the
Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday in the finale of their current four-game
road trip. They are 2-0 against Seattle and 1-0 versus the Clippers this
season.

West is averaging a team-best 17.0 points per game, while Paul, who is second
on the club in scoring (16.3 ppg), has dished out a team-high 7.7 assists per
contest.

Paul has scored 18 or more points in four straight games and is averaging 21.8
points and 7.3 assists per game.

New Orleans/Oklahoma City is scheduled to play 13 of its final 26 games on the
road. The Hornets are 19-9 at home and 12-16 as the visitor this season.

NOH