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Hornets Get Key Win

New Orleans is now sixth in the Western Conference after their hard fought 95-91 win over Portland on Wednesday night. Carl Landry had a big night, leading the Hornets in scoring with 21. Here is more from the AP and espn.com.

 Carl Landry joined the Hornets with the goal of being a rugged role player.Thrust into the starting lineup because of David West’s season-ending injury last week, he’s quickly transformed himself into a top scoring starter.

Landry tallied 21 points, Willie Green highlighted a 10-point fourth-quarter outburst with an energizing one-handed jam, and New Orleans jumped ahead of Portland for sixth place in the Western Conference with a 95-91 victory over the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

“We made some money off of Carl tonight for sure, going to him down the stretch,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said. “Willie was phenomenal, the dunk he had. … If we can finish like this the rest of the year, I’ll be pleased.”

Chris Paul had 11 points and 12 assists, and Emeka Okafor had 15 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out with 1:38 left.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=310330003

The game truly changed when Monty Williams inserted three ballhandlers into the lineup. Chris Paul, Jarrett Jack, and Willie Green played the entire fourth quarter together. With all three players putting the ball on the floor, Portland had to guard tighter, leaving open lanes for New Orleans to agitate the Trail Blazer zone defense.

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Speaking of Green, he was fantastic in the fourth quarter. 10 of his 12 points came in the final period, two of which came on a thunderous put back dunk. If I could use one word to describe the thrown down, it would be stupifying.

“It was good to get up there and dunk. I’m going to laugh and talk with my teammates about it,” said a smiling Green during postgame. ”They were a little caught off guard. I was a little caught off guard. I don’t dunk that much.”

The win gives the Hornets the season series over the Blazers 3 games to 1, possibly making Wednesday night’s win worth two. It also kept New Orleans a game ahead of Memphis in the standings, and 4 games ahead of Houston, who currently sits at 9th in an 8 team race for the postseason. As big as the victory was, the fleur-de-bees still have work to do, something that isn’t lost on David West’s replacement.

“Right now, I’m just doing what I can do. Hopefully it’ll be better than what it is now,” explained Carl Landry. “We’ve got to keep helping one another because we’re not in the playoffs yet.”

“What it is now” was sufficient enough to lead New Orleans in scoring Wednesday in a game that could possibly rank as one of the most important in regular season Hornet history.

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