Chandler's putback give Hornets winFeb 28, 2009 - 6:08 AM NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- On the verge of an embarrassing defeat, Tyson Chandler's long arms came to the rescue.
Chandler tipped in David West's missed jumper with 3.3 seconds left to give the New Orleans Hornets a 95-94 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.
West finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds and Chris Paul dished out 20 assists for the Hornets, who have won three straight since Chandler returned from a 16-game absence.
"I'm obviously happy with the 'W,' but I'm not very happy with way we played the last seven or eight minutes of the game," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "I just thought we were looking at the clock and hoping the clock would wind down instead of playing to win the game."
After Charlie Bell's 3-pointer gave the Bucks a 94-93 lead with 10 seconds left, Paul took the inbounds pass and drove up court before lobbing a pass to West in the lane. The All-Star forward stepped back and took a fallaway jumper that glanced off the rim.
West said he bobbled the ball after receiving it near the foul line.
"But I got the shot I wanted to get," West said. "Tyson being at the rim is going to give us a great chance at high-percentage shots, and he was able to get really good position and tap that ball in. That's one of his strengths, if not his ultimate strength."
Chandler tracked the rebound, leaping over a crowd of players and tipping the ball back up with his left hand for the winning basket.
"I had the opportunity to tip it and I felt like I got good position," Chandler said.
"I felt like even if I missed it I'd have a second tip. When I hit it, I thought it was going to come off on the right side, so I was going to jump quickly to the right side, but it went in, and I'm happy about that."
In the timeout before the Hornets' final possession, Scott said one of his assistants suggested replacing Chandler with forward James Posey to give New Orleans an extra perimeter shooter.
"I'm glad I didn't listen to my assistants," Scott said. "I wanted him on the boards. West did a great job as far as getting into the paint and get the shot over the guy, because we knew they had a small on him. Malik Allen helped a little bit and Tyson was there for the tip-in."
"I'm glad he stuck with that decision," Chandler said of Scott leaving him in. "Because coming out of the timeout I was just thinking, 'If David misses, you put it back in. You do whatever it takes to get to that glass and you put it back in.' It's always scrappy down there - a lot of grabbing and pulling - and I was able to get through it and get a good hand on it."
New Orleans led, 89-72, after Peja Stojakovic's layup with 4:00 to play, but the pesky Bucks refused to quit.
Knocking down six 3-pointers during the spurt, Milwaukee used a 22-4 run to pull into the lead. Bell led the charge with three 3-pointers and 11 points during the spurt, finishing with 21 points off the bench.
"I wasn't pleased with way we ended the game," Scott said. "I thought we were passive. I thought C.P. (Paul) walked it up. I thought everybody else walked it up. Nobody ran. Even when we got stops, we didn't look to attack. We just settled. We didn't finish off a team that was right there for the taking."
The comeback was entirely courtesy of the Bucks' reserve corps, with Damon Jones, Dan Gadzuric and Keith Bogans each chipping in at least one field goal.
"I'm frustrated because we should know better," Paul said of the Bucks' comeback. "But at the end of the day, a win is a win and we're going to accept it. But we can't do that to close out games. We're too good of a team to do that. We should know better."
The Hornets jumped on top with an 11-4 spurt to end the opening quarter up, 29-18, and stretched the lead to 50-35 at the break. West scored 19 points in the opening half and New Orleans shot 52 percent (23-of-44) from the field.
Richard Jefferson finished with 22 points on 8-of-19 shooting to lead Milwaukee, which still shot 39 percent (34-of-88) in the contest despite knocking down 8-of-11 down the stretch.
"The things that have been bothering us in the last two or three weeks is our rebounding," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "You were able to see that in the last play of the game. We just looked at it. They kind of shoved us right under the basket and were able to tip the ball in."
NEW ORLEANS 95 FINAL
Feb 27 10:30 PM
NEW ORLEANS 75 END, 3RD QTR
Feb 27 9:54 PM
NEW ORLEANS 50 HALFTIME
Feb 27 9:08 PM
NEW ORLEANS 29 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 27 8:37 PM
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