for this game

Fast start fuels Hornets rout of Grizzlies

Dec 7, 2008 - 5:31 AM NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- Chris Paul had 21 points and 11 assists and Peja Stojakovic scored 20 points as the New Orleans Hornets crushed the Memphis Grizzlies, 106-87, on Saturday.

David West added 19 points for the Hornets, who shot 52 percent (38-of-73) from the field, including 11-of-20 from the arc.

"They did a good job," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "In the second half, they came out and just before they went out we said, 'All right the score is 0-0 and we've got to come out with the same aggressive mentality that we started the game with.' Again, it was a good sign showing some maturity for a young team."

New Orleans made 13 of its 15 shots in the first quarter, ending the period on a 12-2 run to take a 37-16 bulge after the opening 12 minutes.

Memphis closed within 12 early in the second quarter, but New Orleans extended the advantage to 58-39 at the break.

Stojakovic made a trio of 3-pointers in the third and the Hornets never let the Grizzlies back into the contest, taking a 90-61 bulge into the fourth. James Posey made a shot from the arc to end the third.

"Guys are doing a good job of setting screens for (Stojakovic)," Scott said. "He's doing a good job of moving and we're doing a good job of pushing the ball. (Paul) is always going to create problems for the other team. They have to take away one or the other.

"If they're taking away the threes then he's getting to the basket so if they're taking away from him getting to the basket then he's finding the open guys."

Paul, who has often played more than 40 minutes per game this season, played just 30 and sat for the entire fourth quarter along with the rest of the Hornets' starters.

"You know what I think that's how you show them respect," Scott said. "If you're a better basketball team, or at least if you feel that you're better, the way you come out and prove it is just by going right after them."

Rookie Marc Gasol scored 16 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Grizzlies, who have lost seven straight games on the road.

Fellow rookie O.J. Mayo added 18 points for Memphis, which has yet to win consecutive games this season.

"I felt that (the Hornets) came out and they were totally into what they were trying to do," Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni said. "They are good. They've got a gold medalist over there. They've got guys that have been to the semifinals. They've got high goals, and we can't afford where we are right now to not be totally into it."