Paul had 19 points and 16 assists, and the Hornets bounced back to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 122-90 Wednesday night.
But a 41-point third quarter, capped by Paul's 3-pointer at the buzzer, was too much for the woeful Timberwolves.
"I thought in the third and fourth quarter he started to find his rhythm. He started making shots, getting to the basket and being Chris Paul," coach Byron Scott said. "He snapped back well tonight, as did David, as did Peja, as did Tyson (Chandler), as did the whole team."
Chandler finished with 14 points. In the second half, Paul scored 17 points and had nine of his assists.
"We've got to come out early in the game and impose our will. I think about that going into every game, and I think that starts with me." Paul said. "Defensively and offensively it starts with me and I got to start doing a better job."
The win gave the Hornets a franchise-best 55 wins, beating the record set in 1996-97.
The Hornets led just 48-46 lead at intermission but Stojakovic -- who finished with five 3-pointers -- sparked a third-quarter surge that put New Orleans in front to stay.
He made back-to-back 3 pointers and a long jumper for a 69-62 lead, and after a jumper and layup from West, Stojakovic again hit from outside the arc to make it 76-62.
Paul ended the 41-point quarter by making a 3-pointer from the corner just before the buzzer, and then looked at the Minnesota bench with his arms extended and palms up as if to say, "What can you do?"
"He always wants to pass first and shoot second, so it's tough when he gets going and the guys around him get going," Foye said. "Early on we were able to control him, but he started finding the guys in the second half and that's what killed us."
Five of Paul's assists came on alley-oops to Chandler. The duo has done that a league-leading 107 times this year.
"My MVP is making everybody around you look better, and he's at the top," Chandler said.
|Chris Paul takes control with 19 points and 16 assists as the Hornets nab their 55th win. (Getty Images)|
|New Orleans (55-23) «||28||20||41||33||122|
|NO:P. Stojakovic 24 Pts
NO:T. Chandler 7 Reb
NO:C. Paul 16 Ast
|MIN:R. McCants 23 Pts
MIN:A. Jefferson 8 Reb
MIN:R. Gomes 7 Ast
|Players of the Game|
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|P. Stojakovic, SG||35||9-15||1-2||5||0||2||24|
|C. Paul, PG||33||6-11||5-5||5||16||3||19|
|T. Chandler, C||31||6-7||2-5||7||1||1||14|
|M. Peterson, SG||19||2-4||2-3||3||2||0||7|
|B. Wells, SG||18||3-7||0-0||2||0||0||6|
|D. West, PF||37||10-13||2-2||6||3||2||22|
|J. Wright, SF||20||3-8||3-4||7||2||2||9|
|J. Pargo, PG||18||4-12||1-2||2||2||1||12|
|H. Armstrong, PF||13||1-2||0-2||1||0||1||2|
|R. Bowen, SF||10||2-2||1-2||1||0||0||5|
|M. Ely, C||4||1-1||0-0||0||1||0||2|
|M. James, PG||3||0-2||0-0||1||0||0||0|
|C. Andersen, PF||Did Not Play|
|R. Butler, SG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|R. Foye, PG||35||7-15||2-2||0||5||5||20|
|A. Jefferson, PF||32||7-10||0-1||8||0||2||14|
|M. Jaric, SF||27||3-5||0-0||2||4||1||7|
|R. Gomes, PF||25||2-9||0-0||3||7||3||4|
|C. Brewer, SF||20||2-8||0-0||2||1||4||4|
|K. Snyder, SG||32||4-7||4-4||6||3||3||12|
|R. McCants, SG||30||8-15||2-2||3||1||2||23|
|C. Richard, PF||19||2-2||0-0||6||0||1||4|
|C. Smith, PF||16||1-3||0-0||5||1||1||2|
|M. Madsen, PF||4||0-0||0-0||1||0||0||0|
|A. Walker, SF||Did Not Play|
|G. Buckner, SG||Did Not Play|
|M. Doleac, C||Did Not Play|
|S. Telfair, PG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|