Paul helps Hornets overcome Timberwolves
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) – Chris Paul posted 24 points and eight
assists, as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets completed a five-game
homestand with a 90-83 win over the slumping Minnesota Timberwolves at the
Tyson Chandler posted 16 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks for the Hornets,
who won the first three games of their current stand before being handed an
89-78 defeat by the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. Jannero Pargo scored 13
points, and Desmond Mason had 12 points and seven rebounds. David West added
Mark Blount posted 21 points and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have
lost eight of their last 10 games. Kevin Garnett posted 17 points and 13
boards, while Ricky Davis added 13 points.
Guard Rashad McCants, who had been sidelined for the first 44 games after
undergoing microfracuture surgery on his right knee last June, played just
under five minutes with an assist.
The tilt against the Hornets was the opener of a three-game road trip for
Minnesota, which is 9-15 away from the Target Center. The Timberwolves will
also play in Dallas and Houston.
The Hornets shot out to a 12-3 lead in the first four minutes of the game, and
staked a 29-22 lead heading into the second.
The Wolves scored the first six points of the second to trail by just one with
8:49 to play. The Hornets defense tightened, and New Orleans/Oklahoma City
held a 48-45 halftime advantage.
Minnesota finally got the lead courtesy of a 10-2 spurt midway through the
third. Blount’s jumper capped the rally with 4:41 remaining for a 59-58 lead.
However, the Hornets regained control on an 8-2 run that closed the stanza,
and led 66-61 heading into the fourth.
Minnesota got its deficit down to one midway through the fourth, but the
Hornets responded with a decisive 9-0 burst down the stretch capped by a pair
of Paul free throws with 2:19 left.
Garnett’s dunk cut the Wolves’ deficit to five, but Paul hit four straight
from the charity stripe and West added another on the following possession to
seal the win.
The Timberwolves finished 4-of-19 (21 percent) from beyond the arc, but the
Hornets didn’t fare much better at 2-for-10 (20 percent).
New Orleans, which is 14-11 at the Ford Center this season, starts a quick
two-game road trip on Saturday in Houston…This was the third meeting between
the two teams this year with the Hornets holding a 2-1 advantage, after each
team had won on its opponent’s home floor…New Orleans has won four of the
last six meetings, but the Timberwolves have captured nine of the last 13. The
Timberwolves have also won four of their last six road games in the series.