Hornets 107, Pacers 101

Darren Collison received a good-natured ribbing from Hornets

teammates about coming within two turnovers of the first

quadruple-double in franchise history.

Still, injured star Chris Paul handed the rookie the game ball

in the locker room and the team gave him a round of applause.

Collison registered his first career triple-double – the first

he could remember at any level, in fact – with 18 points, 13

rebounds and 12 assists, and New Orleans beat the Indiana Pacers

107-101 on Friday night.

The first-round pick out of UCLA joined Paul as the only Hornets

to record triple-doubles since former New Orleans point guard Baron

Davis had one on Jan. 8, 2005.

“It means a lot,” Collison said. “I was just going out there

and playing and my teammates were just telling me what I needed and

being supportive. … I hope I have a lot more in my career and I

was fortunate to have one today. I was just trying to help the team

win.”

It appeared getting the win would be easy when New Orleans led

by 21 in the second quarter. But thanks in part to Collison’s eight

turnovers, Indiana managed to trim its deficit to four points

several times in the fourth quarter.

“Our efforts were unacceptable in the first half,” Pacers

coach Jim O’Brien said. “We are not playing a consistent enough

game of basketball to win games we should be winning.”

Danny Granger’s free throws started a 10-2 third-quarter run and

his dunk finished it, pulling Indiana to 74-65. In the fourth

quarter, T.J. Ford hit a 3 from the corner, Roy Hibbert followed

with a driving dunk and Granger’s free throws cut the deficit down

to 87-83.

The home crowd anxiously implored the Hornets to respond, and

they did.

Emeka Okafor spun into the lane for a short hook shot. Soon

after, Collison and Peja Stojakovic hit 3s. Okafor hit another

short jumper to push the lead back to 97-87 with 4:17 to go, then

Collison converted a steal into a fast-break layup.

Indiana had the lead back down to four when Hibbert’s short

jumper made it 103-99 with 46 seconds to go. Then, West rebounded

Marcus Thornton’s miss and drew a foul.

West, 13 of 15 from the foul line, made both free throws and the

Pacers did not score again until the final seconds.

West finished with a team-high 29 points and career-high seven

assists. Stojakovic scored 17, and Okafor had 13 points and 13

rebounds.

“As long as guys continue to play with confidence, we’re going

to have a shot to win the games in terms what we have on the

schedule,” West said.

Thornton scored 12 and Morris Peterson 11 for New Orleans, which

extended the Pacers’ losing streak to four.

Danny Granger scored 29 and Mike Dunleavy 15 for Indiana, which

trailed by as much as 21 in the second quarter, but got within four

in the final minute before New Orleans held on.

Hibbert finished with 13 points, while Earl Watson and Luther

Head each added 11.

“We have to develop some consistency,” Granger said. “We’ve

been battling with that all year. We haven’t gotten a handle on

that, but when we do we will win more games than we lose.”

The Pacers combined for 10 3-pointers, but missed 17, and got

only six offensive rebounds. New Orleans outrebounded Indiana

56-35. The Hornets had 15 offensive rebounds, six by Okafor, and

finished with an 18-6 advantage in second-chance points.

Coming off a five-point performance in New Orleans’ loss to Utah

on Wednesday night, West scored five points during an 11-0

first-quarter run that gave the Hornets an early double-digit

lead.

West had 12 points in the first quarter alone.

“We knew he would play well tonight,” Hornets coach Jeff Bower

said. “We wanted to put the ball in his hands tonight coming out

early to give him a chance to get going. … I appreciate his

effort an awful lot because not only did he play extremely well,

but he plays really hard.”

The Pacers’ decision to settle for outside shots hurt them

early. They shot only 33.3 percent (15 of 45) in the first half and

were outscored 24-10 inside during that stretch.

New Orleans led 58-37 on Julian Wright’s turnaround fade.

Indiana trimmed its deficit to 17 before Collison hit a pull-up

jumper to make it 62-43 at halftime.

NOTES: Collison’s previous high in rebounds was seven. He had 10

in the first half alone. … The Hornets have beaten the Pacers

five straight times, including once earlier this season. …

Indiana is 6-21 on the road this season, losing all nine road games

against Western Conference teams this season. … The Hornets are

4-5 since Paul went out with his left knee injury.