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Maggette's big fourth quarter leads Warriors

Jan 31, 2009 - 6:24 AM By Peter Finney PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- Corey Maggette scored 12 of his 19 points in the final six minutes, including a spinning layup with 1:21 left, to lift the Golden State Warriors to a 91-87 upset victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Friday at the New Orleans Arena.

Maggette's driving move against the slower-footed Peja Stojakovic in the lane and free throw put Golden State up 85-79, and the Hornets could get no closer than three points the rest of the game.

"Whoever guards me, I think it's a mismatch," said Maggette, who has been coming off the bench in a sixth-man role this season.

"I'm just a person who tries to get people on their heels and attack them every which way. Everyone knows I'm trying to go to the basket to draw fouls and get to the free-throw line."

Maggette made 7-of-8 from the line.

Golden State led just 71-70 when Maggette drove past Julian Wright for an easy layup with 5:50 left. He hit one of two foul shots on the Warriors' next possession and then followed that with another layup on a great feed from backup center Ronny Turiaf to give Golden State a 78-72 lead.

Maggette's 15-foot jumper made it 82-78, and after the teams exchanged misses, Maggette lost Stojakovic in the lane when the defender turned his back, and Maggette converted a three-point play to put the Warriors up 85-79.

The Hornets, who fell to 13-5 against sub-.500 teams, got 31 points and eight assists from Chris Paul, but couldn't get offensive support from anyone else.

"It looked like a bunch of guys were heavy legged for whatever reason," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "I thought we did a good job of slowing them (the Warriors) down and getting them to play a different pace but the last three or four minutes of the game we couldn't get stops and we couldn't control the motion tonight."

All-Star forward David West returned to the lineup for the Hornets after missing five games with a back spasms, but even though he grabbed 15 rebounds he shot just 5-of-16 from the floor.

"We did an awful job moving - moving the ball, moving our bodies," Scott said. "We just stood around. Nobody cut. I know that takes a bit of energy, but we can't just expect (Paul) or David to get the job done themselves."

Stojakovic, meanwhile, who had scored more than 20 points in each of his previous four games, went just 3-of-11 from the field and could not defend Maggette down the stretch when he was asked to contain him without double-team help.

Warriors coach Don Nelson said he knew Maggette could take Stojakovic 1-on-1.

"We were quite aware of where he was," Nelson said. "We didn't think Stojakovic could guard him, and, of course, he didn't."

Golden State's well-balanced offense also got 17 points from Jamal Crawford and 15 each from Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis. Jackson played 44 minutes and added seven assists and six rebounds.

"I thought Jack played a great game on both ends of the floor," Nelson said. "I had to overplay him. You don't like to burn a guy out, but when you get a chance to win a game on the road against a good team, you don't worry about tomorrow until tomorrow. I'll worry about that when I wake up."

Paul kept the Hornets in the game single-handedly, scoring 15 of his team's 21 points in the third quarter to tie the game at 65-65.

But the Hornets, who shot just 36 percent from the field, went more than four minutes without a field goal in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors ran off 12 consecutive points just before halftime to erase a 42-35 deficit and take a 47-44 lead at the break. Maggette got Golden State's offense going by flashing through the lane and taking the ball hard to the basket, including a tough lefthanded drive culminating in a running bank shot over Rasual Butler and a foul shot.

The Hornets led by as many as 10 points in the second quarter but then went ice cold, missing 16 of their first 19 shots in a 17-point quarter. The Hornets made just 4-of-21 field-goal attempts in the second quarter for a paltry 19 percent.

In the final three quarters, the Hornets shot 29.8 percent from the field (17-of-57).

Paul led the Hornets with eight first-half points but, uncharacteristically, committed four turnovers.

Golden State pushed the ball at every opportunity, outscoring the Hornets, 13-3, in fast-break points in the first half.