Hornets Silence Thunder
The sellout crowd at the Hive went berzerk when the Hornets took a two point lead with 0.5 seconds left on a David West jumper to silence the Oklahoma City Thunder 91-89. West’s shot was made possible after Chris Paul made a crucial steal with 10 seconds on the clock. New Orleans has won nine in a row. Here is more from the AP and espn.com.
Chris Paul finished with 24 points, nine assists and three steals. David West had 20 points for New Orleans, which overcame a 15-point first-half hole and then held Oklahoma City to one basket during the final 4:19.
Kevin Durant scored 22 points for the Thunder but missed all five of his shots in the fourth quarter, including several in the final minutes as the Hornets erased a late four-point deficit with a couple of jumpers by West, who made New Orleans’ final three baskets.
Emeka Okafor added 11 points and nine rebounds.
In addition to the victory, the attendance benchmark was met, preventing the Hornets from leaving New Orleans after this season. The Hornets’ lease runs through 2014, but if attendance falls below an average of 14,735 for a two-season period, the Hornets may opt out. With football season coming to an end, and a terrific product on the floor, the Hornets will have no trouble keeping attendance up the rest of this season. However, season ticket sales need to increase, and a good playoff run this year will help in that department.