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Paul has 21 and 15 as Hornets cruise past SuperSonics

Dec 20, 2007 - 7:38 AM By Paul Lowenberg PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Chris Paul scored 21 points and dished out 15 assists and Tyson Chandler chipped in 16 and 17 rebounds to help the New Orleans Hornets snap a three-game road losing streak with a 107-93 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Wednesday.

Morris Peterson scored 25 points and connected on 7 of-10 3-pointers and David West scored 17 and grabbed 11 boards for the Hornets, who connected on 12-of-23 attempts from the arc en route to a 49 percent (46-of-94) shooting effort.

The Hornets, who were just 4-of-26 from the arc in their loss to Portland on Monday, hit three 3-pointers in the opening quarter to take a 24-17 lead after one. Peterson hit two from long range and contributed eight points to the Hornets' effort while Chandler hauled in nine boards in the opening period.

"The shots fell tonight," Peterson said. "I'm coming off the Portland game where I was 0-of-5 from the 3-point line, but I always feel like I can make the next shot. As a shooter you can never lose your confidence no matter how bad you've been shooting. So, I'm glad I was able to bounce back tonight."

But for Paul, the key to future success for the Hornets is consistency.

"We have to be consistent," Paul said. "You can't do what we did in Portland and then come out and do this tonight. We have to find a way to do this on a nightly basis."

Chandler recorded his 12th double-double of the year and the Hornets are 7-0 when both he and Paul have double-doubles.

"Our guys were really in sync out there and it kind of opened up the floor and made things easy," Chandler said. "When it comes down to the stretch, we've got to go back to our bread and butter and, when we miss shots, it's my job to put them back in."

New Orleans went ahead for good early in the first quarter on Peterson's layup with 9:35 left for an 8-6 lead which they stretched to 20 points, 52-32, shortly before halftime.

New Orleans held the Sonics to a season-low 33 first-half points as they took a 52-33 lead at intermission. David West had 15 points and Peterson added 11 as the Hornets dominated the sluggish Sonics, who had just completed a five-game East Coast road trip.

"Too many of our starters had trouble finding energy," Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "Maybe those were the guys who were the most tired. We just need to show effort. You can be tired and you can be contesting shots and be playing harder than we're playing."

The Sonics committed 10 turnovers and made just 14-of-43 shots in the opening 24 minutes, as most of the scoring for both teams came from the field. The teams combined for just five trips to the free-throw line in the opening half.

Seattle fared better in the second half as Luke Ridnour and Nick Collison sparked a rally that brought the club within 11 points, but ultimately, the deficit was too big.

"In general, I thought our bench did a much better job than our starters," Carlesimo said. "It's disappointing. When you take some steps forward, you hope you can maintain that, but we slipped back."

Rookie Kevin Durant scored 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting for Seattle, which had won five of its last nine games and saw its record drop to 7-19.

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