Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/9

Game 1: Friday, December 9th
Trail Blazers98
Game 2: Friday, January 6th
Trail Blazers80Final
Game 3: Wednesday, February 15th
Trail Blazers86Final
Game 4: Sunday, February 26th
Trail Blazers75

Trail Blazers 80

(10-23, 4-14 away)

Hornets 90

(15-17, 10-6 home)

    7:00 PM ET, January 6, 2006

    Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 13 26 24 1780
    NO 30 23 11 2690

    Top Performers

    Por: J. Dixon 27 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    NO: K. Snyder 22 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 Blk

    Snyder, West help Hornets get past Blazers

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Kirk Snyder's career night helped the New Orleans Hornets overcome the loss of their Rookie of the Year candidate.

    Snyder scored a career-high 22 points and David West added 19 points and 13 rebounds as the Hornets recovered from the loss of point guard Chris Paul to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 90-80 Friday night.

    Snyder was making his third start in place of J.R. Smith, who was benched for a lack of effort in practice. He'd been averaging 4.6 points through the Hornets' first 30 games before scoring 13 points Wednesday against Miami -- his highest total to that point.

    "We won't say (I was) forgotten. We'll just say put to rest a little," Snyder said. "That's what I was doing, just waiting my turn and working really hard. I'm just grateful for the opportunity that I've been given.

    "This is what I've been working for."

    Paul grabbed his right thumb and walked to the bench after a basket by Portland's Juan Dixon that cut the Blazers' deficit to 53-41 just 36 seconds into the second half. Paul is expected to miss at least two weeks with a torn ligament in his right thumb.

    "It happened so fast. I just remember by thumb being caught," Paul said. "It snapped back like twice."

    Paul said he thought his thumb might have gotten caught on Steve Blake's body or jersey.

    After the injury, the Blazers went on a 19-1 run and took the lead for the first time. While the Hornets missed their next 10 shots, Dixon hit a pair of 3-pointers -- one from 27 feet as the shot clock expired -- and Travis Outlaw scored six points as Portland took a 60-54 edge.

    "We just started playing good basketball, attacking the basket, kicking out for the jump shot, big guys getting some scores in the paint," said Blake, who didn't realize Paul had slammed into him. "We were getting stops, which made a big difference. ...

    "He's a big part of their offensive scheme, but I believe we were just executing, too. I would like to think we were going to go on that run anyway."

    Snyder said the Hornets had to adjust to Paul's absence and got a lift just by him coming to the bench with the thumb wrapped.

    "It changed the whole pace of the game to where we had to really focus our energy on going a little slower and made good half-court decisions because he's a speedster with the ball. He's probably one of the fastest dudes I've ever seen with the ball getting up the court," Snyder said.

    "He makes it a lot easier for everybody else. We lost a lot when he went down."

    Speedy Claxton got the Hornets back on track with two free throws with 4:03 left in the third quarter, and Chris Andersen's tap-in capped an 8-0 run that put New Orleans ahead 62-60.

    Rasual Butler's second 3-pointer in a 10-2 spurt extended New Orleans' lead to 72-65. Viktor Khryapa twice pulled the Blazers within two points, but their only possession with a chance to take the lead ended when Ruben Patterson stepped out of bounds with 4:09 left and Portland trailing 76-74.

    West had a three-point play and Snyder hit a 3-pointer from the right corner to finish an 8-0 run that extended New Orleans' lead to 86-76 and iced it with 1:34 left.

    Dixon, who had a season-high 28 points in Portland's first game against New Orleans this season, led the Blazers with 27 points. Patterson and Jarrett Jack each scored 12.

    Paul, the Hornets' first-round draft pick, entered the game leading all rookies with 16.5 points, 7.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

    He entered the game tied with West for the team lead in scoring and also is the Hornets' leader in assists and steals, while ranking third on the team in rebounds.

    "He means a lot to us emotionally and basketball-wise," Snyder said. "Hopefully, he'll be able to make the trip just to be in the locker room. That's a credit to how good he is as a person and what he means to us emotionally."

    Game notes

    The injury ended Paul's bid to break the Hornets' record for consecutive games with a steal. He had steals in 31 straight games to tie Baron Davis' record set in 2002. Mark Jackson of the New York Knicks set the NBA rookie record with steals in 53 straight games in 1987-88. ... The Trail Blazers were without three of their opening day starters, as Zach Randolph (flu) joined Sebastian Telfair (right thumb) and Darius Miles (right knee) on the bench. ... After hitting only one 3-pointer in the Hornets' first 30 games, West has made 3s in two straight games. ... Snyder's highest previous scoring total also came against Portland. He scored 15 points for Utah in a 100-82 loss to Portland on April 17.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 80 90
    FGM-FGA 33-72 (.458) 35-81 (.432)
    3PM-3PA 7-17 (.412) 5-17 (.294)
    FTM-FTA 7-9 (.778) 15-20 (.750)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-35 16-44
    Assists 15 13
    Turnovers 18 14
    Steals 8 5
    Blocks 6 7
    Fast Break Points 11 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 12 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 6 19

    Top Performers

    No/oklahoma City
    Juan Dixon Dixon
    Points: 27
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Kirk Snyder Snyder
    Points: 22
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 4