for this game

Paul sets record as Hornets hold off Heat

Nov 9, 2008 - 5:08 AM NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- Chris Paul took it upon himself to snap the New Orleans Hornets' two-game losing streak. It just so happened that he made history in the process.

The star point guard became the first player in NBA history to start the season with 20 points and 10 assists in six straight games - snapping the mark held by Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson - to lead the Hornets to a 100-89 victory over the Miami Heat on Saturday.

"It's an honor," Paul said. "Oscar Robertson is arguably one of the greatest to ever do it. He averaged a triple-double for an entire season and just to be mentioned in the same breath as him is an honor."

Paul scored eight straight points for the Hornets down the stretch to help hold off Miami. With his team nursing a seven-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, Paul buried a 3-pointer, then added a pair of driving layups and a free throw. Moments later, he dished to Peja Stojakovic for a game-clinching 3-pointer.

"He's such a special player and aggressively gets into the paint and makes plays," Miami head coach Eric Spoelstra said. "Even from our vantage point, I couldn't tell what play he was making."

Paul finished with 21 points, 13 assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Miami superstar Dwyane Wade was his equal in a losing cause, collecting 30, 10, six and one.

"We did a good job on ball screens and getting all of our options," Paul said. "We defended well, we did a good job of getting into the passing lanes and that got us going."

The Hornets finally found their offensive stride again after consecutive off nights earlier this week. After looking like a well-oiled machine during their 3-0 start to the season, they stumbled against the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Bobcats, averaging just 84.0 points over those two losses.

"We knew we had to come in tonight and dominate," Hornets forward David West said. "We came out aggressive and had to make sure that we maintained our aggressiveness."

But one thing that remained constant was Paul's production. The double-doubles kept coming regardless of the final results. Through six games, he is averaging 21.3 points and 11.7 assists.

"This is a very unusual stat," Paul said. "Assists only occur when your teammates do what they are supposed to be doing."

On Saturday, he faced a Miami group coming off a pair of impressive victories. The Heat defeated the Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs thanks in large part to a revitalized defensive presence that registered 29 steals between the two contests.

But neither defense nor Wade's continued all-around dominance were enough to put the clamps on the Hornets, who took control with an 11-0 run in the second quarter and didn't look back.

"You've got to be able to play both sides of the game," Wade said. "We're not far away from it. You look at the first six games we played. You look at them like we could be .500 and hopefully we get better with time. Let's not forget that we're still growing."

The Heat were led by an unlikely source - backup guard Chris Quinn. The 25-year-old sharp-shooter hit three jumpers - including two from 3-point range - late in the third quarter as Miami pulled to within striking distance at 70-62.

Quinn, who was inactive for the first two games of the season, has scored 29 points over his last two games and is 9-of-13 from the arc.

"Overall when you look at it, I try to find the positive out of it and the positive is that we did OK," Heat center Udonis Haslem said. "The negative is we didn't play the way we did last night with the same energy."

New Orleans center Tyson Chandler, who missed two games last week with a sprained ankle, had his best game since returning to the lineup. He collected 13 points and 10 boards in 32 minutes.

Paul was 4-of-9 from the floor and 12-of-14 from the foul line on Saturday. Fellow All-Star West added 21 points and nine boards.

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