Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/6

Game 1: Saturday, December 6th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 16th
Game 3: Monday, February 9th
Game 4: Friday, March 20th

Hornets 91

(14-7, 7-4 away)

Grizzlies 84

(9-16, 7-6 home)

    Coverage: FSMMHD

    8:00 PM ET, December 16, 2008

    FedExForum, Memphis, TN

    1 2 3 4 T
    NO 26 23 12 3091
    MEM 11 31 18 2484

    Top Performers

    NO: C. Paul 18 Pts, 3 Reb, 9 Ast, 5 Stl, 1 Blk

    Mem: R. Gay 28 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Hornets' off night still potent enough to beat Grizz

    Associated Press

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Chris Paul tied a record for steals, and his New Orleans Hornets played enough good defense to pull out a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

    Paul had 18 points, nine assists and five steals, James Posey scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, and the Hornets beat the Grizzlies 91-84 on Tuesday night.

    Fast Facts

    • With his first steal of the game, Chris Paul tied Alvin Robertson's NBA record for consecutive games with a steal at 105. Paul has at least one steal in 224 of his 243 career games.

    • The Grizzlies snapped a four-game win streak and fell to 5-2 in the last seven games -- both losses coming against the Hornets

    • The Hornets have won seven straight and 12 of the last 13 games vs. the Grizzlies.

    -- ESPN research

    Paul's first steal of the night, off a bad pass by Memphis' Darko Milicic, tied Alvin Robertson's NBA record of a steal in 105 consecutive games.

    The loss snapped Memphis' four-game winning streak, its longest of the season. The Hornets won for the fifth time in six games despite struggling from the field at times.

    "We toughened up at the end and got five big stops in a row," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "We made some key baskets. The defense the last few minutes of the game was the key to the victory."

    David West also scored 18 points, but shot 5-of-16. Paul was just 3-of-10 from the field but made 11 of 12 free throws.

    Rudy Gay led Memphis with 28 points and O.J. Mayo added 20.

    New Orleans led by 15 in the first half, but Memphis capitalized on the Hornets' poor shooting to tie it at 81 with 3:18 left. A 3-pointer by Peja Stojakovic from the left corner with the shot clock running down put New Orleans up to stay at 84-81 with 2:52 remaining. That allowed the Hornets to close the game on a 10-3 run.

    "Peja's big 3 in the corner hurt us," said Gay, who added that 6-foot-1 Memphis point guard Mike Conley, "played good D on him, but Peja's 6-10. He's one of the best shooters in NBA history, and he's been hitting those for years."

    New Orleans beat Memphis 106-87 on Dec. 6 after building a 37-16 lead after the first quarter. While not quite as bad, Memphis again fell behind early on Tuesday. The Grizzlies missed their last 10 shots of the first quarter, failed to score in the final 6:48 of the period after tying the game at 11, and the Hornets closed the period with 15 straight points.

    Unlike the game in New Orleans, Memphis didn't quit and cut into the lead during the second period, then benefited from poor shooting by New Orleans, including 19 percent in the third.

    "We just got discombobulated on the offensive end," West said, "but we were able to settle down defensively. We were able to maintain our composure and make key plays down the stretch to win the game."

    The game was testy, with West receiving a technical for slamming the ball down when he didn't get a call. Tyson Chandler's fifth foul was accompanied by a technical when he swiped at Grizzlies guard Kyle Lowry, who had grabbed Chandler's waist fighting through a pick.

    By the end, Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni and Scott were mouthing at each other down the sideline. Scott declined comment about the exchange after the game.

    Despite shooting 24 percent in the first quarter, the Grizzlies stayed close behind 16 points from Gay and 12 from Mayo. The Grizzlies made 11 of 14 shots in the second period to cut into the lead.

    Paul had eight points despite 1-of-5 shooting as the Hornets used balanced scoring to build a 49-42 halftime lead. New Orleans was 16-of-23 at the free throw line, compared to Memphis' 9-of-11.

    The Hornets were just 3-of-16 in the third but carried a 61-60 lead into the final stanza.

    "[The Grizzlies] were doing a good job of being aggressive on the screen-and-rolls," Paul said of the Hornets' third-quarter shooting woes. "A lot of it was we weren't making shots. [Their] pick-and-rolls really hurt us in that quarter. O.J. Mayo got going, and so did Rudy."

    But in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, Posey continually hit shots to keep the Hornets close or ahead of Memphis until Stojakovic's 3-pointer kick-started the Hornets' winning surge.

    "They played a great all-around game," Paul said. "But, as a team, we feel like we've been through a lot of things, and we were able to pull it together in the fourth."

    Game notes

    The Hornets are now 14-1 when leading after three quarters. The victory was the Hornets' seventh straight in the series. New Orleans has won 11 of the last 12 against the Grizzlies. The 11 first-quarter points for Memphis was a season-low for any period this season. The Hornets have held eight of their last 11 opponents to 95 points or less. They are 9-2 in those 11 games. Memphis scored at least 100 points in all four games of its winning streak.


    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 84
    FGM-FGA 26-62 (.419) 33-69 (.478)
    3PM-3PA 10-20 (.500) 4-16 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 29-38 (.763) 14-19 (.737)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 4-31 7-37
    Assists 15 12
    Turnovers 16 19
    Steals 8 7
    Blocks 8 7
    Fast Break Points 7 12
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (2/0) 26 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 15 2

    Top Performers

    New Orleans
    Chris Paul Paul
    Points: 18
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 5
    Blk: 1
    Rudy Gay Gay
    Points: 28
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1