Final - OT
  for this game

Paul's career-high 43 leads Hornets past Grizzlies in overtime

Dec 8, 2007 - 5:03 AM NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets knew they were gold when they reached overtime.

Paul scored a career-high 43 points, including the go-ahead basket in the waning seconds, and handed out nine assists as the Hornets needed extra time to edge the Memphis Grizzlies, 118-116, on Friday.

David West scored 27 points and Tyson Chandler had 13 and 19 rebounds for New Orleans, which has won 12 straight in extra periods.

"Maybe, we should just play every game in overtime," Chandler joked after the game.

The Hornets also had a good feeling when they reached the century mark, having won seven in a row when they score 100 points.

Prior to this overtime triumph, New Orleans had been 2-0 in extra-period games this season, including a 120-118 victory over the Grizzlies on November 17 when West scored a career-high 40 points.

The game marked the third time that the Hornets and the Grizzlies have gone into overtime in the last six meetings - each won by New Orleans.

"For some reason, this team just plays us extremely well," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "It was a good win. We just have to continue to get better."

It was Paul who surpassed the 40-point mark on Friday as the 2005-06 NBA Rookie of the Year connected on 15-of-27 from the floor, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range.

The 43 points was a feat Paul said he didn't even realize he accomplished.

"It actually didn't feel like it," Paul said of his career-high performance. "This season is all about no excuses. We go out with what we got."

Paul got things going in the extra period when his three-point play just 10 seconds in gave the Hornets a 110-107 lead. New Orleans upped its lead to five when Chandler slammed home an alley-oop pass from Paul with 4:16 left in OT.

Paul made a 16-foot jumper with 2:19 left to give the Hornets a 116-111 lead before Rudy Gay reeled off five straight points, including a shot from the arc with 23 seconds left, to knot the score at 116-116.

However, Paul, whose previous career high was 35 vs. Minnesota on November 18, 2006, made a driving layup with 1.8 left on the clock to win the game.

"(Paul) is going to be a great player," Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni said. "He is already a top player in the league. They (Hornets) got a real prize there."

On the game's final possession, Memphis star Pau Gasol lost the ball out of bounds as time expired.

"They just finished up a little better then we did," Gasol said. "We will come back with pride (Saturday) and try and get one win on this road trip and build on that."

The Hornets shot 46 percent (46-of-101) after a season-low 35 percent in a 91-76 loss to Detroit on Wednesday.

Gay scored a career high-tying 31 points and Mike Miller and Gasol each scored 26 for Memphis, which shot 56 percent (44-of-79) but has dropped eight of nine to New Orleans.