Hornets overcome West's absence, beat SunsMar 26, 2011 - 5:28 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Chris Paul poured in 22 points, including several key buckets at the end of the game, as the New Orleans Hornets overcame losing forward David West for the season with a 106-100 win over the Phoenix Suns.
The team received devastating news early Friday, losing West for the season because of a torn ACL he suffered during Thursday's 121-117 overtime victory over Utah.
But several players stepped up in his absence. The club got 19 points from Carl Landry, and Jarrett Jack added 17 in the win, New Orleans' third in four games.
"You just can't say enough about guys pulling together in adversity," New Orleans head coach Monty Williams said. "I'd love to tell you it was about tricky plays and we had some schemes go well for us tonight."
The Hornets kept their playoff hopes in good standing as they remain in seventh place in the Western Conference -- a half-game behind Portland and two games ahead of Memphis.
Grant Hill and Marcin Gortat each had 18 points for the Suns, who have dropped two of their last three and remain in 10th place in the West. Gortat left in the third quarter and did not return after suffering a broken nose when he walked into Suns guard Steve Nash's head following a Hornets bucket.
Jared Dudley and Aaron Brooks both came off the bench to contribute 17 points in the loss.
Both teams started to heat up from beyond the three-point arc during the fourth quarter.
Willie Green drained a three-pointer a minute in, but Brooks responded with a long triple of his own. A few minutes later, Jack nailed a trey to push it to 85-83.
But as time wore on with the game remaining close, Paul stepped up his game and scored two big shots during the final 95 seconds.
The first shot was a runner that he banked in to put the Hornets up 100-98. Then on their next possession, he drilled a step back jumper from the top of circle for a four-point lead with 54.2 ticks left.
Following two Dudley free throws, the Hornets held the ball for nearly the entire shot clock until Emeka Okafor put back Green's air ball to push it back to four, 104-100. Green added a layup with 11.8 seconds as Phoenix failed to find a basket the rest of the way out.
"It was a big game," Brooks said. "We needed to come out and play hard but the ball didn't bounce our way. The effort that we gave is the effort that we have to give for the rest of the season minus some small mistakes."
The Suns used a late run in the first to go up by nine, but Green's three- pointer with 5.4 seconds left made up the 27-21 score after 12 minutes of play.
During the second, Phoenix made it a double-digit game several times. However, New Orleans scored the last four points of the half, including another last- second shot when Paul drained a pull up jumper with time running out, making it a 56-50 game at the break.
The game remained close through the third quarter as Brooks' pull up jumper made it a 78-73 game heading into the final frame.
The Hornets improved to 18-20 on the road and 2-1 without West in the lineup this season...The Suns made 3-of-4 from the three point arc in the fourth quarter and finished 7-of-15. Meanwhile Phoenix made 11-of-19 of their threes...Green finished with 15, while Trevor Ariza chipped in 16 points in the win...The Suns bench scored a season-high 65 points...Channing Frye and Hakim Warrick scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, in the loss.
- NEW ORLEANS: 106
Mar 26 12:30 AM
- NEW ORLEANS: 73
End of 3rd
Mar 25 11:50 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 50
Mar 25 11:09 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 21
End of 1st
Mar 25 10:38 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 25 10:12 PM
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