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Hornets top Warriors; off to franchise-best start

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- One home opener after another, the New
Orleans Hornets have built the best start in franchise history.

Two nights after winning their New Orleans opener, the Hornets
won their first game in Oklahoma City, beating the Golden State
Warriors 97-93 on Tuesday night behind 22 points and 11 assists
from Chris Paul.

After also spoiling the home openers for Boston and Indiana, the
Hornets are 4-0 for the first time since being created as an
expansion franchise before the 1988-89 season. Previously, their
most wins to start a season was three in 2003-04.

"We're still trying to build an identity," Paul said. "It's
only four games into a new season. It's still possible for us to
finish 4-78. You never know."

After the Warriors had rallied from a 15-point deficit to go up
by three, Peja Stojakovic made a pair of free throws and then
scored while being fouled on a pass from Paul to put the Hornets up
92-90 with 1:35 left.

Former Hornets first-round draft pick Baron Davis had two shots
to give the Warriors the lead, but both of his 3-pointers from the
left wing were off target.

Desmond Mason then stole Monta Ellis' lob pass, and Paul made
one of two free throws to give the Hornets a three-point lead with
11.3 seconds remaining. Anthony Roberson's 3-pointer on Golden
State's ensuing possession was an airball, and David West hit two
free throws to stretch New Orleans' edge to five.

Davis then connected on a 3-pointer, and Stojakovic -- who was on
the short end of the Hornets' 93-67 win in their Oklahoma City
opener last season -- sealed the victory with two more foul shots.

"You can't key on one guy with our team," Paul said. "Some
teams have a guy that down the stretch they're going to go to that
guy every time. With our team it varies."

All five Hornets starters scored in double figures.

Stojakovic scored 18 points, West had 16 points and 11 rebounds,
and Mason added 12 points. Tyson Chandler had 10 points and 14
rebounds as the Hornets dominated the offensive glass, piling up 21
rebounds of their own missed shots.

"One of the things we told our guys is just don't let these
guys outwork you, don't let them be more scrappy than we are,"
Hornets coach Byron Scott said.

After Philadelphia's loss Tuesday night, the Hornets and Utah
Jazz -- both 4-0 -- are the NBA's only remaining undefeated teams.

"I think every player on the team is getting more confident
when we step on the floor that we can get the job done," Mason
said. "Even in tight situations we're getting it done. Last year
we didn't do that. Last year we kind of fell flat a little bit in
those situations down the stretch. We couldn't make plays."

Stojakovic had three baskets -- a jumper and two 3-pointers -- all
set up by Paul as New Orleans opened a 20-11 lead with an early
16-4 run. The Hornets led 52-43 at halftime on the strength of 14
offensive rebounds that led to 19 second-chance points.

New Orleans then scored the first six points after halftime to
take its largest lead at 58-43, but Golden State came back with a
17-4 run to pull within two.

The Warriors took an 86-85 lead on Roberson's 3-pointer with
4:37 left, and they were up 90-87 on Davis' two-handed jam on a
fast break.

"We just missed every shot that we had and seemed to be
reluctant after we missed them," Warriors coach Don Nelson said.

Davis finished with 22 points to lead Golden State, Ellis scored
17 and Roberson scored a career-high 15.

Game notes
The Hornets wore Oklahoma City jerseys to celebrate the
city's home opener. The only other time the jerseys have been worn
was for the Oklahoma City finale last season. ... Golden State's
Mickael Pietrus didn't play with a sprained left ankle. Ike Diogu
sprained his left ankle in the second quarter and did not return.
... Scott said forward Marc Jackson is ahead of schedule in his
return from a strained right hamstring. He was expected to miss the
first month of the season. "He says he feels great, and that's
what I've got to believe," Scott said. "But I've also got to be
very cautious as far as rushing him back because we didn't do that
last time and he still hurt it."