West, Hornets pound Spurs on the roadJan 27, 2008 - 5:55 AM By Brian Guerra PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- The New Orleans Hornets surged early in the fourth quarter, turning a nip-and-tuck game into a 102-78 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night at the AT&T Center.
Conference-leading New Orleans pounded San Antonio with a 14-2 run to start the fourth, and the defending champions never recovered. The Hornets hit 10 of their first 12 shots in the period and outscored the Spurs, 30-14, during the final 12 minutes.
"It's probably the biggest win we've had," Hornets coach Byron Scott said.
David West led all scorers with 32 points, Chris Paul collected 15 and 11 assists, and Peja Stojakovic chipped in 19 for New Orleans.
"They didn't just shoot the ball well, they executed well," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They were fantastic. You can see why they have the best record in the West."
Paul was happy to get the win against what has been the measuring stick in the Western Conference for years.
"I think we're making big steps in the right direction," Paul said.
After a quick four-point outburst to start the game, Tyson Chandler, who also had 12 rebounds, picked up his second foul with 10:07 left in the first. But the Hornets didn't lose any ground.
Thanks to West, who scored 10 points in the first quarter, the Spurs were never able to take control of the game with Chandler out.
"We're playing really aggressive," West said. "We feel like, if we come in the games with the right defensive mentality, that we're good enough offensively to hang with just about anybody."
San Antonio was down by as many as six in the opening period and took a brief three-point lead after Manu Ginobili's 3-pointer with 2:41 left. But the Hornets held a one-point lead heading into the second.
When the Spurs were making their pushes, the Hornets seemingly always had an answer. Early in the third, Stojakovic hit back-to-back shots from the arc, which gave the Hornets a 52-45 lead.
Scott was proud of his team but hesitant to make any bold statement just yet.
"We're a pretty good basketball team," Scott said. "But we all understand there's still a long way to go in this season."
Tim Duncan had 17 points and eight rebounds and Tony Parker also scored 17 for San Antonio, which was without swingman Brent Barry, who suffered a calf injury on Thursday in Miami.
It was the last home game for the Spurs, who will embark on their annual nine-game "Rodeo Road Trip" while the AT&T Center is occupied until the Charlotte Bobcats come in on February 19.
"The rodeo trip is an opportunity for us to come together as a team and to spend a lot of time together," Popovich said. "We'll have fewer distractions and, hopefully, we'll really nail down the way we want to play."
NEW ORLEANS 102
SAN ANTONIO 78 FINAL
Jan 26 10:42 PM
NEW ORLEANS 72
SAN ANTONIO 64 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 26 10:15 PM
NEW ORLEANS 42
SAN ANTONIO 43 HALFTIME
Jan 26 9:35 PM
NEW ORLEANS 28
SAN ANTONIO 27 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 26 9:06 PM
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