Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/6

Game 1: Tuesday, December 6th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 18th
Game 3: Saturday, January 28th
Game 4: Friday, March 31st

Grizzlies 79

(23-14, 10-8 away)

Hornets 87

(19-19, 12-7 home)

    Coverage: COX

    7:00 PM ET, January 18, 2006

    Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

    1 2 3 4 T
    MEM 20 19 23 1779
    NO 21 27 14 2587

    Top Performers

    Memphis: M. Miller 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    NO/Oklahoma City : C. Paul 16 Pts, 3 Reb, 9 Ast, 2 Stl

    Hornets win fourth straight, reach .500 with win over Grizz

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- David West's shot wasn't falling, so he made up for it with his rebounds.

    West had 10 of his 12 points and seven of his 14 boards in the fourth quarter and New Orleans beat the Memphis Grizzlies 87-79 on Wednesday night to surpass its win total from last season.

    West, the Hornets' leading scorer with a 16.9-point average, started the game 1-for-8 from the field and had only two points at the start of the fourth quarter. He continued to struggle with his shot, but had three rebound putbacks down the stretch as the Hornets sealed the win.

    "I was just staying aggressive, just out there fighting, having a knack for the basketball," said West, who finished 6-for-18. "We needed baskets."

    The Hornets won their fourth straight game for the first time since December 2003. They also evened their record at 19-19.

    "We just want to keep improving. Every game, every situation we're in, we want to bring that effort and bring that energy," West said. "We're not looking at a number. We just want to keep going."

    The Hornets, who were 18-64 last season, are one game behind Denver for eighth place in the Western Conference.

    "It's not an achievement. It's what we expected," Scott said. "We've gotten to .500. Now this team is trying to keep going and get over it. ...

    "We've got a bunch of young guys. We've got a lot of guys that weren't on this team last year, so they didn't experience the type of season that we had last year."

    Mike Miller scored 21 points to lead Memphis, which has lost three games in a row for the second time this season. Bobby Jackson added 13 points, Shane Battier had 10 and Pau Gasol, the Grizzlies' top scorer with 19.9 points per game, finished with nine.

    "They double-teamed me almost every time I got the ball," Gasol said. "Obviously, I'd like to have a better shooting night, but give their defense credit."

    Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said the offensive rebounds "turned the game around."

    "I think he understood his shot wasn't falling like it normally does, but he did a heck of a job on the boards," Scott said. "When he did shoot it, he went and got it. He just made some big-time putbacks to really help us win this game."

    Scott said he told West to stay aggressive and keep shooting.

    "He threw me back out there and said, `We're going to need some plays from you.' I still missed a couple, but we did get the stickbacks," West said.

    Speedy Claxton gave the Hornets a 69-67 lead when he cut into the lane, took a pass from Chris Paul and converted a layup. West followed with a jumper from the left side for only his second basket of the game and then stretched the lead to six points when his third tip-in try went down.

    "He was like Rodman and the Matrix (Shawn Marion) down there," Hornets center P.J. Brown said. "He couldn't get the first one, but he'd get the second and third ones."

    Miller responded with a 3-pointer from the left wing for the Grizzlies, but West again put back his own miss for a 75-70 lead.

    Battier's tip-in pulled Memphis within a point, but West again had an answer with a jumper from the right side for a 77-74 lead. He put back his own miss again the next time down to maintain New Orleans' three-point lead.

    Jackson had two chances to tie the game with 3-pointers from the left side before Paul's 3 from the right wing extended New Orleans' lead to 82-76. Claxton hit three free throws and Paul had two more to keep the Hornets in control.

    Paul finished with 16 points and nine assists, Brown scored 15 and Claxton added 14 points and eight assists.

    "It feels good but I'm not over-excited. I want to keep winning. I want to keep this win streak going," Brown said. "It's just important to keep winning right now. I'm kind of glad we're past this 18 (wins) and .500. Now it's about getting over .500 and staying over .500. That's what I'll be looking for and I think we've got a chance to do that."

    Game notes

    Grizzlies center Lorenzen Wright missed the game with a bruised left knee. Guard Dahntay Jones started in his place as the Grizzlies used a smaller lineup. ... The game was originally scheduled in Baton Rouge, La., but was moved to the Ford Center after poor turnout at a December game in Baton Rouge. Three other Baton Rouge games in March were moved to New Orleans.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 79 87
    FGM-FGA 28-74 (.378) 34-76 (.447)
    3PM-3PA 8-22 (.364) 2-6 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 15-22 (.682) 17-21 (.810)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-39 14-44
    Assists 19 23
    Turnovers 12 10
    Steals 4 4
    Blocks 4 5
    Fast Break Points 8 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 22 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 4 9

    Top Performers

    No/oklahoma City
    Mike Miller Miller
    Points: 21
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Chris Paul Paul
    Points: 16
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0