Butler steps up in fourth, as Hornets keep playoff hopes aliveApr 4, 2007 - 3:57 AM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- The New Orleans Hornets never know who will step up.
Rasual Butler hit three shots from the arc in a decisive fourth-quarter run as the Hornets pulled away for a 119-101 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
David West scored 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor and Chris Paul scored eight points and added 14 assists for the Hornets, who trail the Golden State Warriors by two games and the Los Angeles Clippers by three for the Western Conference's final playoff spot.
"We don't have any guys that are going to score 30 a night," Paul said. "We have lots of guys who can contribute. When guys are making shots like that, I have the easy job, just rack up assists."
In a see-saw game that saw 11 lead changes and six ties, New Orleans led, 87-83, with 9:51 left and pulled away with a 24-2 run that ended with 3:15 to play.
Butler hit three of the Hornets' four 3-pointers during that stretch and finished the game with 10 points off the bench.
New Orleans shot 54.5 percent (42-of-77) and had seven players score in double figures.
"We never really rely on one or two guys," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "The beauty of this team is that we rely on five guys and if these guys do well, we have a good chance of winning. ... We're getting better at understanding what we have to do but we still have lots of things to shore up in the next week and a half to make this thing interesting."
Desmond Mason added 21 points for the Hornets against his former team.
"It's just good to do my part to (try and) get us to the playoffs," Mason said, "(But)also in front of these fans (in Milwaukee) to let them watch what they saw for three years."
Michael Redd returned after missing Sunday's loss to the Washington Wizards with a sore left knee and scored 27 for Milwaukee, which has dropped a season-high seven straight games.
Tyson Chandler had 18 points and 20 rebounds for the Hornets, as he set the franchise record for rebounds in season (899). He almost outrebounded Milwaukee, which finished with 25.
"I try to do that every night, it just so happens that some nights it can actually almost happen," Chandler said with a grin.
NEW ORLEANS 119
MILWAUKEE 101 FINAL
Apr 3 10:23 PM
NEW ORLEANS 87
MILWAUKEE 81 END, 3RD QTR
Apr 3 9:53 PM
NEW ORLEANS 67
MILWAUKEE 56 HALFTIME
Apr 3 9:08 PM
NEW ORLEANS 37
MILWAUKEE 31 END, 1ST QTR
Apr 3 8:37 PM
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