|Chris Paul leads Hornets' comeback; Celtics rally past Spurs|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 17 March 2008 23:45|
Paul made the tying 3-pointer with 2:47 left in the fourth quarter then tossed an alley-oop to Tyson Chandler on the next possession to give the Hornets their first lead since halftime. Host New Orleans went on to beat Chicago 107-98 Monday night.
``It was all Chris Paul,'' Chandler said. ``The little man was all over the floor. It was incredible. It's one of the best performances I've seen from him yet. He, at least to me, made his bid (Monday night) to consider him the MVP.''
Paul had 37 points, on 15-of-21 shooting, and 13 assists.
``He took the game over single-handedly,'' said Bulls guard Ben Gordon, who scored 31 points. ``Every basket he made, they needed it to win.''
At San Antonio, the Celtics trailed by as many as 22 points in the first half of a 93-91 win, and didn't have the lead in the fourth quarter until there were just 46 seconds left.
``A lot of teams may have buckled,'' said Rajon Rondo, who scored 20 points for the Celtics. ``But we knew we had to execute. Continue to get stops on defense and we knew the game would change for us, and it did.''
Veteran Sam Cassell had 17 points, his biggest shot being the 3-pointer that gave the Celtics the lead in the fourth.
``He's got a lot of experience. That's why we brought him in,'' Paul Pierce said of Cassell. ``Late in the game, that's what he does, he knocks down the big shot that puts us up two. That's what you can expect from him.''
In other NBA games Monday, it was: Orlando 104, Cleveland 90; Indiana 110, New York 98; Atlanta 105, Washington 96; Memphis 98, Charlotte 80; Minnesota 99, the Los Angeles Clippers 90; and Utah 96, Toronto 79.
Drew Gooden had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulls, who opened the second half on a 14-4 run.
New Orleans trailed 84-75 entering the fourth, but behind Paul's leadership outscored Chicago 33-13 in the quarter - including 24-4 over the final 7:01.
``I usually never start the fourth quarter, but I went up to coach and said, 'Coach, let me stay,''' Paul said.
Manu Ginobili had 32 points for the Spurs, who have dropped six of seven. Tony Parker added 17 points and Tim Duncan scored 10.
The Spurs had a chance to win it when Bruce Bowen stole the ball from Garnett on the inbounds play with 2 seconds left and passed to Robert Horry, whose 3-point attempt missed. Horry sank to the ground, his head in his hands.
``I'm just mad that we had a 22-point lead and blew it,'' Horry said. ``We shouldn't have even been close. We should have done what we were supposed to do and won this game, especially at home and you're up 22. I don't care who you're playing.''
Magic 104, Cavaliers 90
At Orlando, Fla., Dwight Howard had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Rashard Lewis scored 21 for the Magic, which shot better from 3-point range (43.8 percent) than it did overall (39.5 percent).
LeBron James had 30 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Cleveland. Delonte West had 16 points and Sasha Pavlovic added 14.
Hawks 105, Wizards 96
At Washington, Mike Bibby scored 23 points and Joe Johnson added 18 points and 10 assists to lead Atlanta to its third straight win and move them a half game ahead of idle New Jersey for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Antawn Jamison led the Wizards with 25 points.
Pacers 110, Knicks 98
At Indianapolis, Mike Dunleavy tied his career high with 36 points for the Pacers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Zach Randolph had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Wilson Chandler added 15 points and eight rebounds for New York, which has lost nine of 10.
Grizzlies 98, Bobcats 80
At Memphis, Tenn., Mike Miller had 18 points and 13 rebounds, helping the Grizzlies snap a four-game losing streak.
Juan Carlos Navarro led Memphis with 21 points, Hakim Warrick scored 19 and Darko Milicic added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Derek Anderson had a season-high 17 points for the Bobcats. Charlotte starters scored just 36 points.
Timberwolves 99, Clippers 90
At Minneapolis, Al Jefferson had his 48th double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds and Ryan Gomes scored 19 points for Minnesota.
Jefferson trails only Howard, who recorded his 60th double-double Monday.
Corey Maggette had 34 points for Los Angeles, which concluded a five-game road trip by losing its fourth straight.
Jazz 96, Raptors 79
At Salt Lake City, Deron Williams scored 21 points and his backup, Ronnie Price, had 13 points and five assists as Utah tied a franchise record with their 19th straight home victory.
Carlos Boozer had 13 points and 10 rebounds as the Jazz matched the 19-game home winning streak they had from Jan. 19-March 29, 1996.
Jose Calderon had 16 points for the Raptors, who extended a season-long losing skid to five games.