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Paul outshines James as Hornets edge Cavaliers

Dec 12, 2006 - 3:54 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- Chris Paul got the New Orleans Hornets over a big hump.

Paul collected 30 points and 11 assists to lead the Hornets to a 95-89 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who received a 15-point performance from superstar LeBron James.

The reigning Rookie of the Year, Paul made 11-of-16 shots and sank 8-of-9 free throws for the Hornets, who entered with seven consecutive defeats in the series. It was his 10th double-double of the season.

"I've said it for a long time, he is one of the best point guards in the league in only his second year," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "He is one of the main reasons that we are at .500 when we are missing the guys."

The Hornets were without injured starters Peja Stojakovic (back) and David West (forearm).

"By February, hopefully our guys will be back, and he (Paul) can go back to doing what he does best, which is lead this team," Scott said. "We put a lot of pressure on him to lead, and he is doing it every night."

The Hornets beat the Cavaliers for the first time since November 26, 2003, when Paul was a freshman at Wake Forest.

"We tried to come out and play as hard as we could, especially against one of the better teams in the East and one of the best players in the league," Paul said. "It's nice to get a win against them finally; them and Dallas are the only team I have yet to beat."

James struggled, making just 7-of-18 shots and missing all three attempts from 3-point range. He matched his season low of 15 points earlier this season in a win vs. Memphis.

"We had a lot of open looks, and if we make those shots we win the game," James said. "But we didn't, so we lost. We have to grow up, we have to execute."

"Our rotations were good," Paul said. "We played great team defense and didn't allow layups and second-chance baskets, which he (James) is good at getting."

Cleveland rookie Daniel Gibson connected on his second 3-pointer of the fourth quarter to tie the game at 89-89 with 2:31 remaining.

"I had an open look and I knew we needed a big bucket," said Gibson, who scored 14 points. "I was glad I got the opportunity to take that shot. Usually thats LeBron's shot, but I was glad I knocked it down and gave us a chance to win."

However, Paul drained 16-footer and Jannero Pargo connected on a jumper of his own with 61 seconds left. After the Cavaliers failed to scored on several attempts, Paul added a pair of foul shots to seal the game with 19 seconds to go.

Pargo had 15 points and seven rebounds and Mark Jackson scored 14 points for the Hornets, who shot 55 percent (40-of-73) from the field.

Anderson Varejao scored 18 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 15 and 14 rebounds for Cleveland, which shot 43 percent (36-of-84).

"It is tough enough to win in this league on the road, but we can't go on the road and allow a team to shoot 55 percent," Cavalier coach Mike Brown said.








  • AT OKLAHOMA CITY OK
    NBA CLEVELAND 89
    NEW ORLEANS 95 FINAL

    Dec 11 10:17 PM
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    Cavaliers vs. PelicansDec 11 10:09 PM
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    Cavaliers vs. PelicansDec 11 10:00 PM


  • AT OKLAHOMA CITY OK
    NBA CLEVELAND 73
    NEW ORLEANS 72 END, 3RD QTR

    Dec 11 9:47 PM


  • AT OKLAHOMA CITY OK
    NBA CLEVELAND 51
    NEW ORLEANS 51 HALFTIME

    Dec 11 9:07 PM


  • AT OKLAHOMA CITY OK
    NBA CLEVELAND 25
    NEW ORLEANS 21 END, 1ST QTR

    Dec 11 8:36 PM