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Simmons' jumper seals preseason victory for Hornets

Oct 11, 2006 - 3:10 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- Cedric Simmons provided a happy ending for a story that originally presented itself as a tale of disappointment for the New Orleans Hornets' first-round picks.

Simmons made a clutch jumper with just over one minute remaining, sealing the Hornets' 84-81 triumph over the Dallas Mavericks in the preseason opener for both teams.

The 15th overall pick in this year's draft, Simmons began the night by missing six of his first seven shots, including his only 3-point attempt. But the 6-9 forward from North Carolina State ended his professional debut on a good note, hitting a jumper from the key with 1:02 left to cap the scoring.

Simmons finished with four points and five rebounds in 10 minutes. But he still fared better than Hilton Armstrong - selected by the Hornets three picks earlier - who left in the first half with bruised ribs.

Armstrong did not attempt a shot and managed just one rebound and a steal in 7 1/2 minutes.

David West scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and reigning Rookie of the Year Chris Paul contributed 10 points and six assists for the Hornets, who shot under 43 percent (29-of-68) from the field.

Josh Howard scored 16 points on 5-of-14 shooting to pace Dallas. Maurice Ager - the 28th overall pick in June - added 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting for the defending Western Conference champions, who shot 40 percent (26-of-65) from the floor.

The Mavericks played without Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Jerry Stackhouse and Devin Harris, all of whom did not make the trip. The Hornets took the court without newcomer Peja Stojakovic, who sat out with a strained right quadriceps.






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