Stojakovic, Paul stellar as Hornets remain perfectNov 7, 2007 - 8:08 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Peja Stojakovic's sharpshooting skills were on full display.
Stojakovic scored 36 points and connected on 10 3-pointers as the New Orleans Hornets remained perfect with Tuesday's 118-104 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Chris Paul was also on top of his game for the Hornets, handing out an eye-popping career-high 21 assists. His previous best was 18 against Chicago on December 2, 2006.
"It is a huge difference when I am pushing the ball up the court," said Paul, who scored 19 points. "I'm thinking 'get to the basket,' and I know that Peja is going to stop at that 3-point line."
"(Paul's) a fantastic player," Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said. "He is really something."
Stojakovic made 12-of-21 shots overall, including 10-of-13 from the arc to bounce back after Sunday's five-point output against Denver. It was the most 3-pointers made in his 10-year career.
"I just felt good. My teammates were looking for me," Stojakovic said. "I think we played better basketball as a team. We wanted to secure our defensive end and we were able to do that."
With the game tied at 78-78 in the third quarter, New Orleans used an 11-3 surge led by Stojakovic's three 3-pointers during the run to forge a nine-point edge going into the final period.
"I knew if we got out and ran (in the third quarter) they would be in trouble," Paul said. "And the only way we can run is to make stops. When we defend, I think we are one of the good teams in the league."
Andrew Bynum's layup at the 3:14 mark helped the Lakers pull within 102-96. But Paul converted a three-point play and Stojakovic drilled a shot from the arc to make it a 12-point lead.
"A 4-0 start is a good start, but there are still 78 to go," Paul said. "We have a really talented team and, hopefully, we can stay healthy and, hopefully, we can improve our game during the season."
"What you have to do is settle their defenses, and we couldn't give them wide-open looks," Bryant said. "Every shot has to be contested."
Bryant paced Los Angeles with 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting. He also contributed seven assists and six boards.
Ronny Turiaf had 15 points and seven rebounds and Jordan Farmar and Vladimir Radmanovic each scored 11 for the Lakers, who could have injured forward Lamar Odom back in the lineup on Friday.
NEW ORLEANS 118
LA LAKERS 104 FINAL
Nov 7 12:53 AM
NEW ORLEANS 89
LA LAKERS 80 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 7 12:22 AM
NEW ORLEANS 57
LA LAKERS 55 HALFTIME
Nov 6 11:43 PM
NEW ORLEANS 32
LA LAKERS 22 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 6 11:10 PM
- NBA's 6-city tour lets US catch up in 3-on-3 basketball May 21
- Entering Hollywood, Kobe Bryant gets advice from Spielberg May 20
- Cavs 9-0 in these playoffs, and joining rarefied NBA air May 18
- 76ers win NBA draft lottery, Lakers stay at No. 2, keep pick May 17
- After lots of losing, 76ers hope to win big in NBA lottery May 17
- Jim McMillian, forward on '72 Lakers title team, dead at 68 May 16
- Clarification: Stars fuel hope for mid-major prospects May 13
- LeBron says Curry deserves MVP, debates meaning of award May 11
- Stephen Curry is first unanimous NBA MVP, takes honor again May 10
- Hornets PG Kemba Walker has another surgery on left knee May 9
- Kobe Bryant's animated short gets assist from John Williams May 5
- Former Lakers coach Byron Scott 'shocked' over firing May 5