West, Paul carry Hornets past HawksDec 1, 2007 - 4:17 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Chris Paul continues to show the Atlanta Hawks why they may have made a mistake not drafting him two years ago.
David West scored 12 of his 22 points in the third quarter and Paul added 20 to lead the New Orleans Hornets to a 92-86 triumph over the Hawks on Friday.
Paul carried the Hornets through a sluggish first half by scoring 16 points, connecting on his first seven shots before West and the rest of the club joined in.
"(Paul) started it off," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "He got off to a great start, pretty much making everything. In the second half, David started taking over a little bit. It was big. We needed both of them to play well."
New Orleans used an aggressive 13-2 third-quarter run which was capped by Morris Peterson's 3-pointer with 6:02 remaining for a 56-49 lead.
Atlanta cut the lead to 70-67 on a layup by Josh Childress with 10:03 remaining in the fourth, but New Orleans pulled away for good - scoring 12 of the next 14 points to create an 82-69 cushion at the 6:09 mark.
"They've got a good team," Hawks guard Joe Johnson said. "They don't just have one player to go to. The guys came off the bench and played well for them too."
West contributed 14 points in the second half and Jannero Pargo scored 11 of his 13 points in the fourth to help New Orleans win for just the second time in six games.
"We wanted to come in here and get a win," said West, who grabbed 17 rebounds. "We have to make sure that we build on this. Hopefully, we can string some wins together."
"We still have to get better," Paul said. "It's nice to win. I sort of forgot what it felt like for a while."
The Hornets would not have been in this one without the stellar first-half contribution from Paul, who was passed on by the Hawks in the 2005 draft for Marvin Williams with the second overall pick.
Outside of Paul, who was 7-of-8 from the field, the rest of the club struggled, shooting just 26 percent (10-for-38) from the field and making just 1-of-10 on 3-pointers.
Paul has been spectacular in his first two seasons, earning the 2005-06 Rookie of the Year. Paul has been even more dominant against Atlanta, averaging 24.5 points and dishing 12.5 assists in two contests prior to Friday's meeting.
Paul was untouchable in the first quarter, hitting all five shots to help the Hornets build a 28-22 advantage.
"I was just taking what the defense was giving me," Paul said. "I was getting out in transition and knocking down open shots."
Williams failed to help keep Atlanta in the game, finishing with 18 points on 6-of-13 shots. The 21-year old, who left North Carolina after his freshman season, scored six points in the second quarter as Atlanta grab a 45-43 bulge at the break.
But Williams' performance was not enough to overcome 20 Atlanta turnovers and a decisive 16-6 disadvantage on the offensive glass.
"Offensive rebounding and turnovers is where the game was won," Williams said. "We didn't take care of the ball as well as we should have and we didn't keep them off the offensive boards."
"I'm very puzzled," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "When you look at the start of the third quarter, we were so lethargic with our offense. In the second half, we just got selfish with the basketball. Everybody was trying to do it individually and it wasn't working."
Johnson poured in 17 points and rookie Al Horford tied a season high with 15 rebounds for the Hawks, who have dropped three straight to the Hornets.
NEW ORLEANS 92
ATLANTA 86 FINAL
Nov 30 9:53 PM
NEW ORLEANS 68
ATLANTA 63 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 30 9:15 PM
NEW ORLEANS 43
ATLANTA 45 HALFTIME
Nov 30 8:33 PM
NEW ORLEANS 28
ATLANTA 22 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 30 8:05 PM
- Point man: Irving shines in Cavs' demolition of Raptors May 18
- After long overseas career, Nets coach Atkinson back in NY May 16
- After fallback season, Hawks look to rise again in East May 9
- Hornets PG Kemba Walker has another surgery on left knee May 9
- Love, James lead Cavs to another sweep, 100-99 over Hawks May 9
- Big Three leads Cavaliers back to Eastern Conference finals May 9
- NBA Playoff Capsules May 8
- Cavs looks unstoppable as they eye another playoff sweep May 8
- Cavaliers-Hawks Preview May 7
- Cavs looks unstoppable as they eye another playoff sweep May 7
- Frye leads another 3-point barrage, Cavs beat Hawks 121-108 May 7
- NBA Playoff Capsules May 7