for this game

West helps Hornets topple Grizzlies

Feb 10, 2008 - 5:17 AM By David Garland PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- David West and the New Orleans Hornets slowly distanced themselves from the struggling Memphis Grizzlies.

West had 33 points and 10 rebounds as the Hornets defeated the Grizzlies, 112-99, Saturday night at the New Orleans Arena.

Peja Stojakovic scored 26 points and reserve Jannero Pargo scored 13 for New Orleans, which played without starters Tyson Chandler and Morris Peterson.

"Being down two starters, we knew we were going to have to be a little bit more aggressive," West said. "We got contributions from a lot of different people. Obviously, Peja played well. Rasual (Butler) stepped in and played well. Hilton (Armstrong) was a presence in the middle. We're a team of professionals."

Chris Paul, who was held scoreless for the first three quarters, handed out 16 assists for the Hornets, who led by two after the first quarter, six at intermission and 10 at the beginning of the final period.

"Sometimes, that's how it is," Hornets coach Byron Scott said of Paul's inability to score. "He (Paul) did a good job of controlling the game as far as getting other guys the ball.

"David did a great job of just being ready from start to finish. Peja, since 2008 began, has just been lighting it up. We got enough contributions from enough guys to kind of hold that team off."

A first-time All-Star, Paul finished with a season-low two points on 1-of-10 shooting.

"It's whatever the game calls for," Paul said. "Tonight, everyone else was making shots, and I couldn't hit anything. I'll do whatever I have to do to get the win."

The Grizzlies lost their sixth game in a row and have dropped eight straight road contests.

"We kept Paul from scoring, which was the goal, but anytime you do that with traps, he's going to see people," Grizzlies coach Mark Iavaroni said. "His 16 assists and four turnovers is a pretty good ratio. He deserves to be an All-Star."

New Orleans twice built 14-point leads during the first half. Paced by seven points from Stojakovic, the Hornets opened the game on a 16-2 run. Armstrong, who started in place of Chandler, also had five points during the outburst.

Memphis responded with a 20-6 spurt of its own over the next 6:40 to knot the contest at 22-22 early in the second.

"It was kind of a funny game," Stojakovic said. "We couldn't seem to put them away. We had big leads a couple of times, but they kept coming back. We've gone to overtime twice against them this year. We know they have good shooters and are a tough team."

But the Grizzlies could not sustain the momentum.

Behind 3-pointers by Stojakovic and Butler, the Hornets opened a 44-30 lead with 3:40 remaining in the first half. Butler, who started in place of Peterson, had 10 points.

Trailing by 10 points after three periods, the Grizzlies mounted one final charge. Hakim Warrick hit a driving layup with 6:37 to go to cut the Hornets' lead to 87-84.

"I think we battled. They got some cushions, but we came back from the cushions they created," Iavaroni said.

However, New Orleans restored the lead to 95-84 on Paul's only basket before Stojakovic followed with a 3-pointer from the corner to again give the Hornets a 14-point lead with 4:13 to play.

Paul assisted on Stojakovic's basket for New Orleans, which had a 30-19 advantage in that statistic and shot 48 percent (42-of-87) field.

Rudy Gay had 26 points and six rebounds and Mike Miller had 18 and six for the Grizzlies, who shot 46 percent (37-of-80) and were swept by the Hornets for the first time since 1999-00 when both teams were playing in different locations.

"Rudy has hurt them (the Hornets) in the past," Iavaroni said. "He's had 30-point games against them. He's a threat inside and outside. I think when he becomes a guy who understands that he can create shots for his teammates, then he's going to really be an All-Star."

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