Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/18

Game 1: Friday, November 18th
Game 2: Saturday, January 7th

Hawks 92

(0-9, 0-6 away)

Hornets 95


    7:00 PM ET, November 18, 2005

    Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 18 14 18 4292
    NO 23 28 21 2395

    Top Performers

    Atl: S. Stoudamire 30 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    NO: C. Paul 25 Pts, 7 Reb, 12 Ast, 5 Stl

    Hawks drop to 0-9 as comeback falls short

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Chris Paul kept telling Salim Stoudamire not to shoot. Once Stoudamire stopped listening, the Atlanta Hawks rallied from a 26-point deficit and almost came away with their first victory.

    But Paul saved the day for the New Orleans, scoring five of his 25 points on free throws in the final 22.7 seconds in the Hornets' 95-92 victory over the winless Hawks on Friday night.

    The rookie from Wake Forest also had a career-high 12 assists.

    "I just always like to get guys involved," Paul said. "I never want to feel like I'm ball-hogging. But at the same time, coaches keep telling me I've got to look for my shot more."

    He might have done just as much good by talking to Stoudamire, who scored 24 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter.

    "It didn't surprise me," Paul said. "I talked to him throughout the whole game. I told him, `Don't start shooting. Don't start shooting.' ... I know when it gets down to that type of situation, that's when he's going to start."

    Paul and Stoudamire met in college and attended a rookie camp together.

    "He was telling me that, and I was like, 'I'm going to be patient and pick and choose my spots," Stoudamire. "They opened up for me, and I knocked them down."

    The Hornets, playing without two starters and their top reserve, led 76-50 after Brandon Bass' two-handed, fast-break dunk early in the fourth quarter before Stoudamire took over. The former Arizona standout scored 21 of the Hawks' next 31 points to cut the deficit to eight, and Joe Johnson added two 3-pointers and a layup to get Atlanta to 90-89.

    "I didn't want to give up. I wanted to compete until the buzzer sounded, and luckily I caught fire," Stoudamire said.

    Paul, the Hornets' first-round draft pick, hit one of two free throws with 22.7 seconds left, and Johnson and Zaza Pachulia each missed baskets that could have tied the game for the Hawks.

    Paul hit two more free throws to stretch New Orleans' lead to four at 93-89, and Stoudamire made his fourth 3-pointer of the quarter to pull Atlanta within one again. Paul then sealed the game with two free throws with 3 seconds left.

    Stoudamire missed a shot from near half court that could've sent the game to overtime. It was one of only three misses on his 12 fourth-quarter shots.

    "It was just one of those nights where the basket was like a huge bucket," Stoudamire said. "But we lost, so it doesn't mean anything to me."

    Johnson scored 21 points, Harrington had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Pachulia added 10 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta, which dropped to 0-9, the worst start in franchise history.

    The Hornets played without starting guard J.R. Smith (ankle) and starting center P.J. Brown, who was attending his mother-in-law's funeral. Reserve guard Speedy Claxton (ankle), the team's second-leading scorer, also didn't play.

    Still, the Hornets (3-6) snapped a four-game losing streak and ensured they wouldn't duplicate last season's 2-29 start. New Orleans didn't pick up its third win until a 121-117 victory against Sacramento on Jan. 8 ended its second losing streak of 10 or more games.

    Before Stoudamire started shooting, it appeared New Orleans would cruise to win No. 3.

    "It shouldn't have been that close," Hornets forward David West said.

    Game notes

    Two of the Hawks' three preseason wins came against New Orleans. The other was against Charlotte. ... Atlanta faced nine straight Western Conference opponents to start the season. Its first Eastern Conference game is Sunday against Boston. ... The attendance was 17,554, the Hornets' lowest in five games in Oklahoma City. ... A night after going 0-for-13 from 3-point range, the Hornets were 8-for-16 from behind the arc.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 92 95
    FGM-FGA 35-74 (.473) 33-83 (.398)
    3PM-3PA 7-16 (.438) 8-16 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 15-24 (.625) 21-32 (.656)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-41 17-43
    Assists 10 20
    Turnovers 23 19
    Steals 11 13
    Blocks 7 4
    Fast Break Points 25 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (2/0) 24 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 1 26

    Top Performers

    No/oklahoma City
    Salim Stoudamire Stoudamire
    Points: 30
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Chris Paul Paul
    Points: 25
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 12
    Stl: 5
    Blk: 0