Hornets match franchise win streak
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)
David West added 22 points as New Orleans kicked off a three-game West Coast trip by equaling the club's longest unbeaten run, also produced from Feb. 21-March 13, 1998. The Hornets also avenged a disappointing seven-point home loss to the Warriors back on Jan. 5 with their fifth straight road victory.
Monta Ellis scored 26 points in another big night for his bid to become Golden State's first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell in 1997. Stephen Curry added 20 points and six assists a day after spraining his troublesome right ankle during practice and the Warriors shot 50.7 percent.
But Golden State committed 21 turnovers and couldn't keep up with the NBA's best defense. Or with Paul and his talented supporting cast for that matter.
Paul shot 7 for 9 and showed no ill effects of rolling his ankle in Monday night's 91-89 win over Oklahoma City. He has compiled 16 or more assists in a game three times this season.
Emeka Okafor contributed 13 points and seven boards as every Hornets starter scored in double figures.
Golden State lost its third straight after a four-game winning streak, two of those defeats in a three-day span against two of the league's top teams. The Warriors fell 113-102 to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.
This time, fans began making their way to the Oracle Arena exits midway through the fourth quarter.
The Hornets (31-16) came in averaging a league-low 90.9 points per game, and only 85 points during their winning streak. Golden State wound up well above that and still didn't have enough.
The Warriors scored eight unanswered points in the third quarter to close to 65-61, but New Orleans quickly responded with a 10-2 burst to regain control.
Golden State had won the last two meetings, including a 110-103 victory at New Orleans on Jan. 5 in which the Warriors rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit and used a 27-7 run to start the fourth quarter to take the lead for good.
The Hornets weren't about to let that happen this time.
''They took it to us the whole game,'' coach Monty Williams recalled of the first meeting. ''We were able to score and fell in love with our offense.''
Another motivation: Golden State spoiled the Hornets' last nine-game streak with a 116-103 victory in New Orleans on Jan. 30, 2008.
Paul dished out five assists in the opening 6 1/2 minutes and New Orleans shot 65.2 percent in the first quarter, when the Hornets hit 14 of their first 17 shots and forced seven turnovers.
The Warriors used a 12-0 run in the second quarter to get back in it but still trailed 61-49 at halftime.
NOTES: Belinelli, drafted by Golden State 18th overall in 2007, has started every game this season for New Orleans. ... Williams hopes to see Okafor and West join Paul as Western Conference All-Stars. Not that he's campaigning, per se. ''I'm not much of a politician,'' said Williams, the team's first-year coach. ''I just think it's something that will take care of itself.'' ... New Oakland mayor Jean Quan and actor and activist Danny Glover attended the game to raise awareness about AIDS through the NBA Cares ''Greater than AIDS'' movement. ... The Hornets improved to 16-11 vs. the Western Conference, 7-7 on the road. ... First-year Golden State coach Keith Smart acknowledged Curry's ankle could be a recurring problem this season considering the guard doesn't have enough time off to let the injury fully heal.