Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 1/4

Game 1: Friday, January 4th
Hornets116Final
Warriors104
Game 2: Wednesday, January 30th
Warriors116Final
Hornets103
Game 3: Sunday, April 6th
Warriors96Final
Hornets108

Warriors 96

(46-31, 21-19 away)

Hornets 108

(54-22, 29-10 home)

    Coverage: ABC

    12:00 PM ET, April 6, 2008

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

    1 2 3 4 T
    GS 31 20 27 1896
    NO 22 37 29 20108

    Top Performers

    Golden State: M. Ellis 35 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

    New Orleans: D. West 25 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 Blk

    Paul's triple-double helps Hornets past Warriors, to 54th victory

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Chris Paul's third season in the NBA is turning into a historic one for the New Orleans Hornets.

    Paul had 16 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds and New Orleans tied a franchise record for single-season victories with 54 in a 108-96 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

    Buzz Is Back

    The Hornets tied their franchise record for wins in a season Sunday. Now they'll try to improve on past playoff failures.

    Year Playoffs
    2007-08
    (54-22)*
    ?
    1996-97
    (54-28)
    Lost first round
    1997-98
    (51-31)
    Lost conference semis
    1994-95
    (50-32)
    Lost first round
    *six games remaining

    It was the fourth career triple-double for Paul, who also had five steals and inspired boisterous chants of "M-V-P! M-V-P!" from a sellout crowd that watched the Hornets (54-22) win their 11th straight home game and fourth straight overall.

    "Every record it seemed like the franchise had has gotten broken this year or is on the verge of it," said Paul, who set a franchise record for single-season steals in a win over New York a game earlier and now has 199. "I feel like my team is the MVP. We are having an outstanding year."

    Certainly, Paul had help against Golden State and didn't need to score his average of 21.5 points.

    Peja Stojakovic and David West each scored 25 points, helping New Orleans close the game on an 18-6 run after Golden State had rallied to tie the game at 90 early in the fourth quarter.

    "That's when good players show up and this team is full of them," said Hornets center Tyson Chandler, who had 11 points and 12 rebounds to help New Orleans remain atop the Western Conference with six games remaining.

    "That's the one thing about our team I'm comfortable with going into a playoff-type atmosphere -- we don't rely on one scorer," Chandler said. "I love the balance of this team and I think you're going to need that if you want to go deep into the playoffs."

    Monta Ellis had 35 points and 10 rebounds to keep the Warriors close late into the final period, which Warriors coach Don Nelson called "a bright spot in kind of a gloomy game."

    "We should have had the ball more in his hands than we did, because he was really effective," Nelson continued. "But it didn't really matter. You either win or you lose."

    Baron Davis and Andris Biedrins each scored 17 points and Biedrins also had 15 rebounds for Golden State (46-31), which has lost three of four games and will need a strong finish to earn a playoff berth.

    Al Harrington scored 16 points for the Warriors, who had only three points from reserves until the game's final minute, when the result was no longer in doubt.

    Golden State entered the day tied for the eighth seed in the Western Conference with Denver, which was slated to play Sunday night at Seattle.

    "The season's almost over, so there's no need to change anything," said Warriors forward Stephen Jackson, whose six points on 3-of-11 shooting were more than 14 below his average. "We just have to shoot better. We shoot better and we win. It's that simple."

    New Orleans led 82-71 in the third quarter after a 13-2 run that included Stojakovic's second 3-pointer of the game and Paul's blazing end-to-end layup, after which he crashed over photographers set up on the baseline. West's putback helped New Orleans take an 88-78 lead into the fourth quarter.

    The Warriors made one final push with a 12-0 run fueled by Ellis, whose jumper and fast-break dunk on back-to-back possessions tied the game at 90.

    Paul responded with a 3 and New Orleans pulled away from there.

    "I realized I hadn't shot and wasn't being aggressive," Paul recalled. "As soon as I saw the opportunity -- you know, Baron backed off of me -- I was thinking, I can shoot a little bit. I might as well shoot it."

    Golden State had the early edge after Biedrins, who had 15 points in the first half, capped an 11-0 run with a fast break layup as he was fouled, giving the Warriors a 25-14 lead in the first quarter.

    New Orleans responded with a 13-2 run early in the second quarter, pulling to 38-37 on Chandler's tip-in.

    Later in the period, Jannero Pargo sandwiched two 3s around another by rookie Julian Wright, then Paul's under-thrown alley-oop lob went straight in the hoop for an 11-0 run that put New Orleans up 52-46.

    Pargo ended up with 15 points in the second quarter, and Stojakovic's 3-pointer at the buzzer gave New Orleans a 59-51 halftime lead.

    Game notes


    With nine 3-pointers in the game, the Hornets set a franchise record for 3s in a season with 592. The old mark was 591, set in the 1996-97 season. ... New Orleans finished with a 26-5 advantage in points scored by reserves. ... Attendance was 17,809, the Hornets' 11th sellout of the season and 10th in 15 games. ... The Hornets' record for single-season wins was first set in 1996-97. Byron Scott has already achieved a personal mark for most wins in a season as a coach. He also has helped the Hornets set a franchise record for road wins with 25 this season. ... Golden State fell to 21-19 on the road this season after scoring well below its average of 110.6 points per game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    GS
    NO
    Points 96 108
    FGM-FGA 43-95 (.453) 44-87 (.506)
    3PM-3PA 3-29 (.103) 9-23 (.391)
    FTM-FTA 7-9 (.778) 11-15 (.733)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-21 7-17
    Assists 20 31
    Turnovers 17 18
    Steals 8 14
    Blocks 3 2
    Fast Break Points 21 18
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 17 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 12 14

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    New Orleans
    Monta Ellis Ellis
    Points: 35
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 1
    David West West
    Points: 25
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 2