Friday , Feb , 23 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Hornets hang on to sting Sonics

New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) – David West posted 23 points and 11
rebounds, as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets made it five home wins in a
row and to the eighth spot in the Western Conference with a 98-97 victory over
the Seattle SuperSonics at the New Orleans Arena.

Bobby Jackson scored 17 points for the Hornets, who haven’t dropped a game as
the host since an 89-78 letdown to the Philadelphia 76ers on January 31. The
club stands a solid 18-11 at home this year.

New Orleans also played for the fifth time this year in New Orleans and is
3-2 at the New Orleans Arena. The club will play its final game there this
season on March 23 against the Lakers.

Tyson Chandler posted 15 points and 19 boards for the Hornets, who have won
six of their last eight overall. Chris Paul notched 13 points and eight
assists, and Desmond Mason added 10 points.

“I believe the game tonight showed this team’s character,” Chandler said.
“When things are not going your way offensively, you have to create other
opportunities for yourself.”

Ray Allen netted 32 points for the Sonics, who had a season-high tying three-
game losing streak snapped. Rashard Lewis had 18 points and 12 rebounds for
the Sonics, who have been dismal on the road this year, losing 16 of their
last 18, and are just 6-20 on the season. Earl Watson also had 18 points, and
Nick Collison chipped in 11 boards in the loss.

Trailing 91-83 midway through the fourth, Seattle went on an 11-4 run capped
by an Allen finger roll to make it a one-point game.

Paul’s jumper from the right elbow with 38 seconds left gave the Hornets a
98-94 lead, but Lewis drilled a trey with 29.6 seconds remaining to make it a
one-point game again.

After the Hornets failed to convert on the other end, Allen cut around the
left wing and got off a leaning jumper at the buzzer that missed, as the
Hornets escaped with the win.

“We got a good shot to win the game by one of the best shooters in the
league,” Seattle coach Bob Hill said. “It just went in and out. If it goes in
we win.”

After Seattle took an early eight-point lead, the Hornets went on a 13-0 run
down the first-quarter stretch, finished by a Jackson layup with 2:17
remaining, and led 29-25 heading into the second.

Seattle got going midway through the second. The Sonics went on a 16-5 run
sparked by a Watson jumper with 7:47 left to tie the score at 43 heading down
the stretch. The Hornets reclaimed control for a 51-48 halftime advantage.

The Sonics, though, came out of the locker room on a burst. After a Chandler
hook shot 17 seconds into the second half, Seattle rattled off the next 11
points for a 59-53 lead with 8:09 remaining.

The Hornets quickly regained control by going on a 9-0 spurt capped by a Mason
alley oop with 3:08 to go, but the teams battled back and forth down the
stretch for a 79-79 tie heading into the fourth.

Game Notes

The SuperSonics had already beaten the Hornets twice this season, although
both of those wins came in Seattle. The Sonics have won eight of their last 12
against the Hornets, but have lost five of their last seven as the
visitor…The teams will conclude their four-game series on April 4 in
Oklahoma City.