Smith's career night leads Hornets over lowly WizardsFeb 2, 2011 - 4:39 AM New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Jason Smith started for the second time this season and posted a career-high 20 points, leading the New Orleans Hornets in a 97-89 victory over the Washington Wizards.
Smith, in his third season in the league and first with the Hornets, had a previous career high of 14. But the center made the most of his 25 minutes Tuesday, shooting 9-of-11 and grabbing five rebounds to help New Orleans snap a two-game slide.
Smith's performance came on the same day New Orleans learned center Emeka Okafor could be sidelined for three weeks because of a strained left oblique muscle.
"I was just trying to fill the void," Smith said. "He anchors our defense so well, and we really miss him and need to get him back healthy."
Trevor Ariza added 16 points for the Hornets, while Chris Paul had 15 points, nine assists, and five rebounds.
Nick Young scored 30 points to pace the Wizards, who fell to 0-25 on the road and crept closer to matching the league record for the worst start to a season away from home. The Dallas Mavericks dropped their first 29 road contests during the 1992-93 campaign.
"The negative thing is we would really like to get one of these road wins," said Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. "We're beating a dead horse, again. It's unfortunate, but we have a chance to regroup at home and hopefully get a little rhythm."
Andray Blatche had 21 points and nine rebounds for Washington, which has a four-game homestand before playing at Cleveland on February 13.
Smith scored 10 of his points during a close first quarter, helping the Hornets emerge with a 29-26 edge. Young netted 11 points in the opening 12 minutes.
Smith then netted five more points during a 7-0 burst New Orleans used to build a double-digit advantage. His three-point play with 4:35 left ended the run and made it a 44-34 game.
Paul's three-point play with 9.5 seconds left allowed the Hornets to carry a 55-44 lead into the break.
New Orleans extended its lead as high as 16 in the third quarter, leading throughout, and was up 80-65 moving to the fourth. The Hornets made 10-of-18 shots in the third period.
Washington made a few short runs in the fourth quarter, but never threatened the Hornets' lead.
New Orleans won both matchups with Washington this season, having taken a 92-81 victory on January 1...The Wizards have dropped six in a row overall, as well as 26 consecutive road games dating back to last season...The Hornets held a 41-34 rebounding edge.
- WASHINGTON: 89
NEW ORLEANS: 97
Feb 1 10:32 PM
- WASHINGTON: 65
NEW ORLEANS: 80
End of 3rd
Feb 1 9:56 PM
- WASHINGTON: 44
NEW ORLEANS: 55
Feb 1 9:09 PM
- WASHINGTON: 26
NEW ORLEANS: 29
End of 1st
Feb 1 8:35 PM
- WASHINGTON: 0
NEW ORLEANS: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 1 8:12 PM
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