Hornets Handle Pacers
The Hornets beat up on the Indiana Pacers Sunday night at the Hive, winning 108-96. Trevor Ariza led all scorers with 19. With his steal in the 3rd quarter, Chris Paul became the fourth fastest player in NBA to history to record 1,000 steals, doing it in 420 games. Here is more from the AP and espn.com.
Trevor Ariza scored 19 points and Paul shook off the pain with 18 points and eight assists to lead the Hornets to a 108-96 win over the Pacers on Sunday night.
Paul hobbled off the court in the second quarter favoring his left knee — the same one that had to be surgically repaired last season and forced him to miss 24 games.
“I’m good,” Paul said. “Scared me, too. I knocked knees, but I’m all right.”
Emeka Okafor was excellent as well. He notched his 23rd double-double of the season with more than 3 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. As a matter of fact, New Orleans dominance in the paint was the biggest factor in a dominant win. The Hornets outrebounded the Pacers by 15. Of Okafor’s 17 rebounds, 7 of them came on the offensive end. New Orleans outscored Indiana in the paint 48-34. As good as Ariza and Paul were Sunday night, the Hornets earned their 44th win of the season because of Okafor, Gray, and Landry cleaning up the boards, and scoring down-low.
Next up, the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. If New Orleans defeats Houston, the Hornets will secure a playoff berth. Embarrsingly enough, the crowds at the Hive have been pathetic lately. In his postgame interview, Chris Paul commented (in a completely PC and encouraing way) that they needed the fans to come out on Wednesday for one of the biggest games of the season. Hopefully the Hive will be packed. With a playoff spot on the line, there is simply no excuse for it not to be.