for this game

Paul, Hornets aim for repeat performance in Game Two

Apr 22, 2008 - 2:53 PM Dallas at New Orleans 7:00 pm EDT Western Conference first round Hornets lead series, 1-0

NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets proved that experience isn't everything in the postseason.

Paul and the second-seeded Hornets aim to protect home-court advantage Tuesday when they host the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of their Western Conference opening-round matchup.

In Saturday's series opener, Paul dazzled in his playoff debut with 35 points and 10 assists as New Orleans erased a 12-point halftime deficit for a 104-92 victory.

"You know I was really looking forward to this opportunity," Paul said. "I was like, 'I'm nervous and I'm anxious at the same time.' I talked to a lot of people, my teammates and my coaches and they said to just play your game and have fun and let everything else take care of itself."

A leading candidate for the league's MVP Award, Paul had his way with Mavericks veteran point guard Jason Kidd, who looked several steps slower on defense.

But Paul wasn't the lone star in Game One for New Orleans, which got 33 points and 25 rebounds combined by All-Star David West and Tyson Chandler.

"Like I said with us, you've got to choose your poison," Hornets coach Byron Scott said.

Reigning MVP Dirk Nowitzki collected 31 points and 10 rebounds and Kidd added 11, nine and nine assists and for Dallas, which shot just 33 percent (26-of-78) from the field.

"Between settling for jump shots and turning the ball over ... the momentum swung," Mavs coach Avery Johnson said. "We had the momentum in the first half, they had the momentum in the second half."

If Dallas has any chance of bouncing back in this one, it will need more production from former All-Star Josh Howard, who struggled to score 17 points.

The series switches to Dallas on Friday for Game Three.