Okafor guides Hornets over NetsDec 23, 2010 - 4:31 AM New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Emeka Okafor scored a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while David West netted 18 points to help New Orleans down New Jersey, 105-91.
"For him to be playing at that level really helps our team," New Orleans head coach Monty Williams said of Okafor. "We've said this before, on most nights Emeka (Okafor) is an X-factor for us."
Chris Paul also recorded a double-double of his own with 14 assists and 12 points for the Hornets, who halted a two-game losing streak. Marco Belinelli added 14 points.
Devin Harris had 21 points and eight assists while Brook Lopez donated 16 points for New Jersey, which had a two-game win streak stopped. Derrick Favors and Sasha Vujacic had 10 and 12 points, respectively, in the loss.
The Hornets started out the game going 6-of-6 from the field to give them a 12-5 lead. New Jersey cut the lead to one with 1:06 left to play in the first quarter with a Stephen Graham long jumper, but Okafor hit back-to-back free throws to give New Orleans a 32-29 lead after the first quarter.
"They (the Hornets) did a good job on us," Nets guard Jordan Farmar said. "They started off real aggressive just attacking all night. We are coming off a back-to-back, and we played really well last night. For us it was a little discouraging, disheartening to play like that. We just kept playing catch- up."
New Orleans made it an 11-point margin at 46-35 with a seven-point burst finished by a Jason Smith jump shot with 5 1/2 left in the second quarter. The lead was cut to four with a minute left in the half on a Harris jumper, but Paul made a jump shot and West drained a long three to finish the first half with a 57-50 edge.
In a midst of a 17-4 run, Paul stole a Harris pass and made a floater to give the Hornets a 10-point lead just 3 1/2 minutes into the second half. West finished the run with a jumper with three minutes left in the third to make it 78-61 and New Orleans scored the final five points of the period for a 83-63 edge.
The game remained a rout through the final quarter. Okafor made it a 20- point with 8:43 remaining game after a 1-of-2 showing from the free throw line. He then hit a turnaround jumper more than a minute later to give the Hornets their biggest lead of the game 97-75.
New Orleans cruised the rest of the way.
New Orleans won the battle on the glass 48-30...The Hornets shot 53.9 from the field and 50 percent from the three point arc...The Nets struggled from the three-point line making just 26.7 percent of their shots...Marcus Thornton came off the bench for New Orleans and chipped in with 18 points.
- NEW JERSEY: 91
NEW ORLEANS: 105
Dec 22 10:17 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 63
NEW ORLEANS: 83
End of 3rd
Dec 22 9:44 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 50
NEW ORLEANS: 57
Dec 22 9:05 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 29
NEW ORLEANS: 32
End of 1st
Dec 22 8:38 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 0
NEW ORLEANS: 0
1st Quarter - 15:00
Dec 22 8:13 PM
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