New Orleans at Indiana

Paul's furious finish fuels Hornets' rally over Pacers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Chris Paul's New Orleans teammates and coaches were imploring the guard to take charge of the game against the lowly Pacers.

So he did.

Paul scored 11 points in the game's final 3:36 and David West hit a 17-foot fadeaway jumper with 2.5 seconds remaining to help the Hornets rally for a 105-103 win over Indiana on Sunday night.

Paul and James Posey scored 19 points each for the Hornets (18-9). West added 18 points, Rasual Butler scored 15 and Peja Stojakovic had 12.

"It was winning time," Paul said. "Antonio Davis was talking to me the whole game, telling me to be more aggressive. One of our assistant coaches said to take over, be more assertive and aggressive."

Danny Granger led Indiana (10-20) with 34 points. Roy Hibbert scored 19 before drawing his fifth foul with 6:46 to play in the third quarter. He did not return.

Troy Murphy had 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Pacers, who led by as many as 12 points early in the third quarter. No other Pacer scored in double figures.

Paul's late burst caught the Pacers by surprise.

"He wasn't looking to score, but then he got going," Granger said. "They have a great guard in Chris Paul, and they surround him with great shooters."

Pacers' coach Jim O'Brien agreed: "He does what great point guards do. He carries the team on his back."

Paul drove the lane for a basket and a 103-101 lead with 30.9 seconds remaining. Granger then was fouled on a drive and made both free throws with 27.8 seconds to go.

The Pacers had no timeouts after West's basket. Jarrett Jack's hurried jumper from halfcourt missed at the final buzzer.

"I've always had confidence in my ability to score the ball," said Granger, who improved on his fifth-ranked NBA scoring average of 24.5 points. "But I'd rather score 20 and win."

"Granger killed us," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "He made shots. Their whole front line killed us. We got lucky."

Hibbert hit three baskets as he helped the Pacers build a 63-54 lead early in the second half. But when he drew his fifth foul, the Hornets put together runs of 9-2 over a 2:48 span and 10-2 over the last 2:40 of the period to establish a 76-75 lead.

Granger (14), Murphy (14) and Hibbert (13) scored 41 of the Pacers' 56 first-half points.

Murphy and Hibbert scored seven points each as the Pacers went on a 15-6 run over a four-minute stretch to take a 53-45 lead 2:50 before intermission. They led 56-49 at the half.

Notes

  • Hilton Armstrong was given a technical at the end of the half when he shoved Murphy under the Hornets' basket at the halftime buzzer. Granger made the free throw to start the second half.
  • The Pacers have lost three straight games, all after having held a substantial lead The Hornets have now won three straight at Conseco Fieldhouse.
  • The Hornets had just nine turnovers, the fewest by a Pacers' opponent this season.
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'It was winning time,' Chris Paul says after scoring 11 points in the final 3:36.  (AP)
'It was winning time,' Chris Paul says after scoring 11 points in the final 3:36. (AP)

Scoreboard
New Orleans (18-9) «27222729105
Indiana (10-20) 29271928103
NO:J. Posey 19 Pts
NO:D. West 10 Reb
NO:C. Paul 12 Ast
IND:D. Granger 34 Pts
IND:T. Murphy 16 Reb
IND:M. Daniels 6 Ast
Players of the Game
IndianaNew Orleans

D. Granger

C. Paul
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
345219512
New Orleans
D. West, PF407-174-4101018
P. Stojakovic, SG375-120-081212
C. Paul, PG367-155-6512019
T. Chandler, C323-82-76038
R. Butler, SG296-110-020215
J. Posey, SF266-116-731519
H. Armstrong, PF162-52-21126
A. Daniels, PG122-20-01206
D. Brown, SG80-10-00000
S. Marks, C51-20-01012
R. Bowen, SFDid Not Play
M. Peterson, SGDid Not Play
M. Ely, CDid Not Play
J. Wright, SFDid Not Play
Totals 39-8419-26371815105
 46.4%73.1% 
Indiana
T. Murphy, C406-122-2164216
D. Granger, SF3912-236-752134
M. Daniels, SG333-81-22637
J. Jack, PG314-90-02619
R. Hibbert, C187-145-660519
B. Rush, SG230-11-44211
J. Foster, C202-21-14155
R. Nesterovic, C192-50-03214
T. Diener, PG173-40-04118
M. Baston, SFDid Not Play
J. Tinsley, PGDid Not Play
M. Dunleavy, SGDid Not Play
T. Ford, PGDid Not Play
S. Graham, SFDid Not Play
J. McRoberts, PFDid Not Play
Totals 39-7816-22462420103
 50.0%72.7% 
Other Games
Den 117 Final
NY 110
Dal 98 Final
LAC 76
Mia 86 Final
Cle 93
Bos 108 Final
Sac 63
GS 113 Final
LAL 130