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New Orleans at Seattle

Hornets 107, SuperSonics 93

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Chris Paul noticed a hop in Morris Peterson's step early on, a clear sign that Peterson's off shooting game two nights earlier was in the past.

So while Paul was dribbling circles around Seattle's porous perimeter defense, he made sure to keep an eye on where Peterson wandered.

"I see it when he's got his bounce going," Paul said.

Paul, the Hornets' dynamic point guard was outstanding again at finding Peterson and all his Hornets' teammates on Wednesday night. Paul scored 21 points and had 15 assists, Peterson scored 25 points and matched his career-high with seven 3-pointers, and New Orleans beat the SuperSonics 107-93, snapping a three-game road losing skid.

Peterson showed just how dangerous a shooter he can be in the Hornets' offense, but it was Paul that caused migraines all night for whomever had the misfortune of trying to slow him down.

Paul consistently beat Seattle guards Earl Watson and Luke Ridnour off the dribble, getting into the lane and creating opportunities all over the floor for his teammates. Three times it led to a lob dunk for Tyson Chandler. Sometimes it was a short jumper for David West. Often, the collapsing defense left Peterson open on the perimeter.

Peterson made 7 of 10 3-point attempts, finishing one off the franchise record of eight held by David Wesley. Two nights earlier in Portland, Peterson missed all five of his 3-point attempts.

"There's not too many guys in this league that can penetrate and get through the seems like Chris can and it puts a lot of pressure on the defense," Peterson said. "The only thing you've got to do is make shots."

There was some brief concern in the final minute as Paul slipped on a wet spot and his left knee buckled. He walked off the court with a slight limp, but said afterward he was fine, as he munched on some french fries before the long flight back to New Orleans.

West finished with 17 points 11 rebounds and Chandler had 16 points and 17 rebounds.

Rookie Kevin Durant led Seattle with 18 points, but it was an uninspired performance by the Sonics, who staged a second-half rally to nearly beat the Hornets in New Orleans on Dec. 9.

Coach P.J. Carlesimo was especially distraught afterward, calling out the lack of effort by his starters and hinting at changes on the horizon if the performance doesn't change.

"If we can't match the other teams energy and if we can't compete on the defensive end to begin a game, then we have to think about making changes," Carlesimo said.

The Hornets quickly shrugged off their lackluster offensive performance on Monday night in Portland, where they scored just 76 points, and put Seattle behind from the start.

Peterson's first 3-pointer gave New Orleans an early 15-8 lead and Seattle could never get closer than four points early in the second quarter.

Two long scoring droughts certainly didn't help Seattle. The Sonics went 5½ minutes without scoring in the first quarter, then had a stretch of nearly four minutes in the second quarter without points.

Already leading by 19 at halftime, Peterson only padded the lead with a flurry of shots early in the third quarter. Peterson knocked down a trio of 3s and scored 11 points in the first five minutes of the quarter. Seattle didn't make a dent in the Hornets' lead until late in the fourth quarter, and a pair of Chandler tip-ins made sure the Sonics never got closer than 11.

"We definitely had a rhythm going. It makes things easy when guys are knocking down 3's like that," Chandler said.

Led by its bench, Seattle showed a spark early in the second quarter, getting within 32-26 when Jeff Green tipped in Mickael Gelabale's miss with 5:47 left. But New Orleans outscored 13-0 over the next 3:58 to take a 19-point lead. The lead reached 20 at the very end of the first half when Peterson hit his third 3-pointer of the half to give the Hornets a 52-32 lead. Watson added a free throw in the final second, but Seattle still had a season-low halftime total.

During the Sonics' two scoreless stretches, the Hornets outscored Seattle a combined 20-0. Ridnour, Nick Collison and Wally Szczerbiak all added 13 points for Seattle.

"We need to play a lot harder and better than we played across the board," Carlesimo said.

Notes

Seattle G Delonte West missed his eighth game with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. West has started doing light running on the treadmill, but still doesn't have an estimated time on his return. ... Hornets' F Peja Stojakovic missed his third straight with a groin injury. ... Members of the No. 7 Washington State basketball team were in attendance on Wednesday. The Cougars play their yearly game in Seattle on Thursday night against The Citadel.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Scoreboard
New Orleans (16-10) «24282926107
Seattle (7-19) 1716303093
NO:M. Peterson 25 Pts
NO:T. Chandler 17 Reb
NO:C. Paul 15 Ast
SEA:K. Durant 18 Pts
SEA:N. Collison 9 Reb
SEA:K. Durant 5 Ast
Players of the Game
SeattleNew Orleans

K. Durant

C. Paul
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
184521315
New Orleans
D. West, PF438-201-2116317
R. Butler, SG407-170-020217
M. Peterson, SG389-140-031225
T. Chandler, C378-100-1172516
C. Paul, PG3710-190-0315221
H. Armstrong, PF131-30-03002
J. Pargo, PG122-60-01114
J. Wright, SF110-10-02110
B. Jackson, PG101-42-20135
R. Bowen, SFDid Not Play
P. Stojakovic, SGDid Not Play
M. Ely, CDid Not Play
M. Vinicius, SFDid Not Play
A. Haluska, SGDid Not Play
Totals 46-943-5422719107
 48.9%60.0% 
Seattle
K. Durant, SF317-154-445018
C. Wilcox, PF265-80-030110
D. Wilkins, SG254-152-351211
E. Watson, PG232-51-24415
K. Thomas, PF212-40-04044
N. Collison, C274-65-691113
J. Green, SF272-60-06514
W. Szczerbiak, SF265-110-060013
L. Ridnour, PG254-94-431113
M. Gelabale, SF81-60-02102
R. Swift, CDid Not Play
D. West, SGDid Not Play
J. Petro, CDid Not Play
M. Sene, CDid Not Play
Totals 36-8516-1946181193
 42.4%84.2% 
Other Games
Mia 111 Final
Atl 114
Phi 85 Final
Ind 102
Chi 95 Final
Wash 84
Utah 92 Final
Char 98
Det 87 Final
Bos 85
Cle 90 Final
NY 108
Sac 102 Final
Mil 89
GS 111 Final
Min 98
SA 85 Final
Mem 88
Orl 97 Final
Hou 92
Pho 105 Final
Dal 108
Tor 96 Final
Port 101