NEW ORLEANS -- Peja Stojakovic grunted as he got up slowly from in front of his locker, then smiled bashfully before uttering, "old bones."
Stojakovic nailed five 3-pointers in a four-minute span in the third quarter, a surge that propelled the Hornets to a 111-92 triumph and their seventh straight victory overall.
"I don't know how to explain that," said Stojakovic, who finished with six 3-pointers and 26 points. "You always think: 'You never know if you don't try.' You've got to let it fly. Some nights they go in, some nights not. Tonight, fortunately, they were good."
The Hornets had squandered a 50-37 halftime lead and trailed 53-52 when Stojakovic went on his brief tear. By the time it was over, the Hornets had outscored Los Angeles 22-2 during a 4:07 span to take a 19-point led that they would not relinquish.
New Orleans made 14 3s as a team, 12 in the second half, giving Los Angeles little hope of staging a comeback.
"Making shots is contagious. It gives everybody on the floor confidence taking their shot once you see someone shoot the ball really well like Peja did," said Rasual Butler, who followed Stojakovic's display with four 3s of his own for all of his 12 points. "It was definitely energizing. It was fun to watch. The bench was losing its mind. ... That's why he's Peja Stojakovic, one of the best shooters in the league."
Jannero Pargo, who led the Hornets with 24 points in a victory over Portland two nights earlier, hit a pair of 3s and finished with 14 points. David West had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Tyson Chandler had 11 points and 13 rebounds. Chris Paul added 14 assists for New Orleans (30-12), which has won 15 of 17 games to become the surprise leader in the powerful Western Conference.
Corey Maggette led Los Angeles with 24 points, while Cuttino Mobley added 20 and Sam Cassell 16. Chris Kaman had 14 rebounds for the Clippers (13-26), who have lost two of three.
The Clippers appeared primed to stage an upset when Maggette opened the second half with a 3-pointer and a three-point play on a layup as he was fouled. Maggette later added a fast-break layup during a 16-2 run that gave Los Angeles its brief second-half lead.
Hornets coach Byron Scott called time-out and New Orleans returned firing away from long range.
"Wow. We went up one point and it was bombs away," Cassell said. "The first shot Peja made, we couldn't play better defense. The next two, we couldn't play them any better. They went from one down to up 10 in the next few possessions."
Mobley briefly halted the Hornets' momentum with a pair of 3s during an 8-0 Clippers run. The Hornets responded with a 7-0 run of their own, highlighted by Chandler's putback and another tip-in as he was fouled, giving New Orleans an 81-63 lead heading into the final quarter.
Pargo added another 3 early in the fourth quarter and Ryan Bowen, whose primary role is to play defense, hit two free throws and a pair of mid-range jumpers to put New Orleans up 90-73.
Butler's 3-pointer, New Orleans' 10th, made it 93-75 with a little over six minutes remaining and the Clippers couldn't recover as New Orleans cruised to its 19th double-digit victory.
The Hornets also outrebounded the Clippers 49-38, and Paul used his speed, exceptional dribbling ability and court sense to help turn numerous Clippers misses into 21 fast-break points the other way.
"The long ball really crushed us," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Stojakovic got away from us. Most of the game was even except for the differential in 3-point shots and fast-break points."
|L.A. Clippers (13-26)||22||15||26||29||92|
|New Orleans (30-12) «||28||22||31||30||111|
|LAC:C. Maggette 24 Pts
LAC:C. Kaman 14 Reb
LAC:S. Cassell 5 Ast
|NO:P. Stojakovic 26 Pts
NO:T. Chandler 13 Reb
NO:C. Paul 14 Ast
|Players of the Game|
|New Orleans||Los Angeles|
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|C. Maggette, SF||38||8-13||7-7||5||3||1||24|
|C. Kaman, C||38||3-7||3-4||14||3||1||9|
|T. Thomas, PF||32||5-13||0-0||6||3||2||10|
|S. Cassell, PG||31||7-12||2-2||4||5||4||16|
|Q. Ross, SF||14||1-3||0-0||1||1||2||2|
|C. Mobley, SG||37||9-17||0-0||6||0||2||20|
|A. Thornton, SF||24||1-6||4-4||1||1||2||6|
|B. Knight, PG||14||0-1||0-0||0||4||2||0|
|J. Powell, SF||6||0-2||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|D. Dickau, PG||3||1-2||0-0||0||0||0||2|
|G. Diaz, SG||3||1-2||1-1||1||0||0||3|
|A. Williams, C||Did Not Play|
|E. Brand, PF||Did Not Play|
|S. Livingston, PG||Did Not Play|
|P. Davis, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|D. West, PF||36||4-15||6-6||11||4||1||14|
|C. Paul, PG||36||3-12||2-2||5||14||1||8|
|P. Stojakovic, SG||34||10-16||0-0||3||2||0||26|
|T. Chandler, C||32||5-11||1-2||13||0||1||11|
|M. Peterson, SG||22||4-8||2-3||2||4||4||11|
|J. Pargo, PG||24||6-8||0-0||2||1||4||14|
|R. Butler, SG||19||4-9||0-0||5||0||1||12|
|M. Ely, C||16||1-4||0-0||5||0||3||2|
|R. Bowen, SF||13||3-4||2-2||2||0||2||8|
|H. Armstrong, PF||3||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0|
|M. Vinicius, SF||3||2-2||0-0||1||1||0||5|
|J. Wright, SF||3||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|B. Jackson, PG||Did Not Play|
|A. Haluska, SG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|