for this game

West, Paul lead Hornets to fifth straight win

Mar 3, 2009 - 5:11 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- David West collected 30 points and 10 rebounds and Chris Paul hit a key 3-pointer late in the game to lead the New Orleans Hornets to a 98-91 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday.

James Posey added 16 points and 12 rebounds and Rasual Butler chipped in 16 and 10 for the Hornets, who pushed their winning streak to a season-high five games.

"We have been trying to be really aggressive and put together complete games on both ends of the floor, and it has been working for us," West said.

"We got a little energized after the All-Star break. These stretches are going to be a little tougher for us, but above everything else we just want to put together some complete games."

After Philadelphia cut it to 92-89 with 1:31 left, New Orleans came down and worked the ball to Paul, who hoisted up a 3-pointer at the 1:09 mark to push the lead back to six. Posey hit three free throws in the final 21 seconds to put the game away.

"We get to see the floor with Chris Paul penetrating and probing the defense," West said. "When we got guys hitting shots from the outside we are able to get extra shot attempts on the glass. We know that when teams start sinking in it's up to us on the perimeter. If we don't have the shot, we make the extra pass and count on our teammates to knock down the shot."

The Hornets never trailed in the final period and opened up a 92-81 lead when Butler nailed a 3-pointer and Paul followed with a jumper with 3:23 left.

But the 76ers threatened with an 8-0 run capped by a pair of free throws from Andre Iguodala before Paul's 3-pointer put New Orleans comfortably ahead.

"We have great confidence in our defense so that we don't have to rely on our offense to win games," Butler said. "We knew that the Sixers would make their run; we just didn't let them make baskets in the paint. We wanted them to take contested shots and get the rebounds so we could get up the court."

Paul finished with 16 points, 12 assists and three steals for the Hornets, who had three different four-game winning streaks earlier in the season.

"We really haven't played our best basketball but we find ways to win games," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "That is the important thing. I think that we have the confidence in ourselves that when the game is on the line we are able to get things done to win the game."

West did most of his damage in the first half, scoring 22 points as New Orleans grabbed a 46-45 lead at the break.

Iguodala scored 30 points and Andre Miller added 28 to lead the Sixers, who have dropped two in a row.

"They did a good job of getting the ball in the places they wanted to," Iguodala said. "They did a good defensively of trying to take stuff away from us. Chris Paul is a good point guard and David West is a good player and they had it going tonight.

"The main thing that we need to do is take focus. It'll be a couple days before we have a game so we just need to get ourselves and prepare for the next game. We have been having tough losses with some close games and I think that we've had a learning experience in those past losses."