National Basketball Association News
Paul stars as Hornets edge Cavs
Dec 12, 2006, 4:15 GMT
Oklahoma City, OK - Chris Paul scored 30 points and doled out 11 assists to lead the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets to a 95-89 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Anderson Varejao's 17 points and eight rebounds led the Cavaliers, who lost for the first time in three games. Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Cleveland, which suffered from a subpar night by LeBron James, who finished with 15 points on a 7-of-18 performance from the field. Daniel Gibson added 14 points for Cleveland.
Jannero Pargo scored 15 points for the Hornets, who snapped a two-game skid. Marc Jackson scored 14 points, and Hilton Armstrong added 12 for the Hornets. Desmond Mason also scored 12 points on the night.
A pull-up jumper by Paul broke an 89-89 tie, putting the Hornets up two with 1:45 left. After a Donyell Marshall miss, Pargo sank a jumper from the free- throw line to put the Hornets up 93-89 with only 1:02 left. Pargo came back with a strip of Daniel Gibson on Cleveland's ensuing possession, and the Hornets drained the shot clock until Paul drove the lane, drawing a foul with 19.2 seconds remaining. The second-year point guard sank both free throws to put the nail in the coffin, putting the Hornets up by six.
The Hornets had led 88-81 after a Pargo jumper with 4:45 left. The Cavs went on an 8-1 run, though, and a Gibson jumper tied the game at 89-89 with 2:36 left in the fourth quarter. The Cavs were unable to score a point the rest of the way.
Cleveland had led coming into the final 12 minutes, 73-72.
The final clutch shots by Paul and Pargo capped a neck-and-neck affair that saw 13 lead changes and nine ties.
Cleveland led 25-21 after the first quarter, and the teams were tied 51-51 at halftime. Game Notes
The Hornets bench outscored Cleveland's, 41-24...Tyson Chandler pulled down 10 rebounds to go with his four points for the Hornets...The Hornets won despite shooting 1-for-12 from behind the three-point line, a paltry 8.3 percent with Pargo having the worst night, missing all six shots he took from long range.
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