Hornets Win Fifth Straight
New Orleans Arena was rocking on Monday afternoon as the Hornets won their fifth straight game. David West's clutch shooting, and Jarrett Jack's impressive play off the bench sparked the Hornets to a come from behind win over the Raptors 85-81. The AP and espn.com has more.
West had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and the Hornets won their fifth straight, 85-81 over Toronto on Monday.
West's jumper with 31.7 seconds left put New Orleans ahead 83-81. He then preserved the lead with a block on Amir Johnson in the paint, got the rebound, was fouled and hit two free throws for the final margin.
Emeka Okafor had 17 points and a season-high 16 rebounds, tying a Hornets franchise record with 12 offensive rebounds. Reserve guard Jarrett Jack added 17 points -- 15 in the second half -- while Chris Paul had 11 assists.
DeMar DeRozen scored 23 points for Toronto, which let a 12-point third-quarter lead slip away en route to its fourth-straight loss. Johnson scored 17 points, Ed Davis had 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Andrea Bargnani added 11 points for the Raptors.
Toronto was without starting forward Linas Kleiza, who had a sore right knee, and coach Jay Triano chose to start former Hornets first-round draft choice Julian Wright in his place. Wright had 11 points and six rebounds, helping Toronto push its lead to double digits in the second half.
Using a 13-6 run that began with Wright's driving layup as he was fouled and which ended with Wright's dunk, the Raptors took their largest lead at 57-45.
New Orleans then started chip away when Paul scored four straight points on free throws and a pull-up jumper to make it 61-54. Toronto still led by nine on Sundiata Gaines' 22-foot bank shot with 2:34 left in the quarter, but did not score again in the period while Jack hit a jumper, two free throws and a driving floater to cut it to 65-62.
DeRozen opened the fourth quarter with a jumper and driving layup as he was fouled to quickly push Toronto's lead back to 70-62, but the Hornets responded with Jack's pullup, Okafor's layup and Marcus Thornton's driving layup to pull to 70-68. The Hornets finally tied it at 76 on Thornton's free throws with 4:57 to go and then took a brief lead on Jack's reverse layup.
West scored the Hornets' final seven points, converting Jack's feed inside to put the Hornets up 80-79 and hitting a free throw to make it 81-79.
DeRozen then hit two free throws to tie it at 81 with 40.4 seconds to go, but would not score again as the Hornets survived despite shooting only 39 percent (34 of 87).
While it wasn't the prettiest of performances, the Hornets still came away with a win. Offensive rebouding and solid defense propelled the Hornets on a day when they're shooting was awful. It's not very often New Orleans can win if Chris Paul goes one of eight from the field, but Jarrett Jack made sure they did. He had a monster game against his former employer. Down double digits in the second half, Jack was the offensive spark the Hornets needed to come back and secure their eighth victory in the last ten ballgames.