New Orleans at Memphis

Hornets 98, Grizzlies 91 wire reports

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- So much for Chris Paul's offensive woes.

Paul had 23 points and 14 assists, Willie Green keyed a fourth-quarter rally and the New Orleans Hornets beat the Memphis Grizzlies 98-91 on Friday night to move up in the Western Conference standings.

Paul, who was limited to 17 points over the previous three games, was 7 of 15 from the field, including 2 for 3 on 3-pointers.

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"It was nice," he said. "I was able to get into the lane and create a little bit. We picked up the tempo. When we play at that type of tempo, that's the kind of game we need to play, and the kind of game we all can thrive in."

Willie Green scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth as the Hornets snapped a three-game skid and moved past idle Portland into sixth place in the West.

"[Green] got hot, and they started looking for him," said Mike Conley, one of three Grizzlies to finish with 12 points. "It's tough when he's making shots like that. Guys were putting hands up and playing good D, but that was the guy they were going to."

Jarrett Jack had 19 points for New Orleans, while Marco Belinelli and Carl Landry scored 14 apiece. Belinelli was 6 of 7 from the floor and Landry grabbed 10 rebounds.

Hornets coach Monty Williams said before the game he thought the criticism of Paul during the slump was unfair, and his second-leading scorer was taking the blame for a lot of other players' mistakes.

"Obviously, he hasn't played up to his standards," Williams said, before adding: "Sooner or later -- more likely sooner -- he's going to break out, and hopefully, everybody can retract all that was said about him."

Sooner, in fact, was against the Grizzlies, who had won five straight at home and remains in eighth in the West despite the loss.

"We didn't come out with a lot of energy early," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "We couldn't sustain, and we weren't consistent."

Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies with 20 points and 11 rebounds. O.J. Mayo had 13 points, while Marc Gasol and Darrell Arthur also had 12.

Memphis had a chance to tie it with 34.1 seconds left, but Gasol missed two free throws, then fouled Jack, who hit both of his foul shots for a 95-91 Hornets lead.

"The first one, I felt like it was good, but it came up a little short," Gasol said. "The second one was a little longer. It happens."

The Hornets, who went 5 for 6 at the line in the final 32.1 seconds, managed to get the win despite losing leading scorer David West to a sprained left ankle with about 8:20 left in the first quarter.

New Orleans closed the first half with a 14-2 run to tie it at 45. Jack capped the surge with a layup in the final seconds of the second quarter.

Mayo had 11 points at the break, and Conley had 10, hitting all four of his shots. But he struggled guarding Paul, spending the final minutes of the half on the bench with three fouls.

The Hornets made nine of their first 11 shots in the third to build a 68-58 lead. But the Grizzlies rallied to send it to the final period tied at 72.

Williams had criticized his team's play and lack of passion after Wednesday night's 107-88 loss to the Knicks. The scolding apparently had an effect.

"Our guys came out with an attitude," Williams said of Friday's win, "whether they were mad at me, mad at themselves or mad at the world. The bottom line is, that's how we have to play."


Hornets F Trevor Ariza was out with a strained muscle. ... Many of the Grizzlies have begun sporting beards, part of a pledge to let their facial hair grow until they earn a playoff berth. ... Mayo earned a technical in the first half when he and Paul got tangled up and Mayo reacted. ... Memphis G Ish Smith, obtained in the trade deadline deal with the Rockets, got his first action in a Grizzlies uniform, entering in the third quarter. He had 4 points and an assist. ... Mayo matched his season high with six assists.

Copyright 2016 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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New Orleans (36-27) «2025272698
Memphis (34-29)2025271991
NO:C. Paul 23 Pts
NO:C. Landry 10 Reb
NO:C. Paul 14 Ast
MEM:Z. Randolph 20 Pts
MEM:Z. Randolph 11 Reb
MEM:O. Mayo 6 Ast
Players of the Game
New OrleansMemphis

Chris Paul

Zach Randolph

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New Orleans
C. Paul, PG387-157-8514223
E. Okafor, C313-71-26037
Q. Pondexter, SF292-50-04024
M. Belinelli, SG176-71-111314
D. West, PF40-00-00010
C. Landry, PF386-142-2101514
J. Jack, PG306-114-411119
W. Green, SG276-113-520015
A. Gray, C180-10-06030
J. Smith, PF40-10-01010
D. Andersen, C30-02-21022
M. Banks, PGDid Not Play
T. Ariza, SGDid Not Play
D. Mbenga, CDid Not Play
Totals 36-7220-2437172398
Z. Randolph, PF366-158-10113320
M. Gasol, C334-84-751212
T. Allen, SG272-52-26126
M. Conley, PG255-70-013412
S. Young, SF242-80-02214
O. Mayo, SG255-100-026213
D. Arthur, PF226-110-050412
S. Battier, SF201-40-00323
J. Williams, PG142-60-00305
I. Smith, PG91-22-41124
H. Haddadi, C60-10-03010
R. Carney, SFDid Not Play
R. Gay, SFDid Not Play
X. Henry, SGDid Not Play
G. Vasquez, PGDid Not Play
Totals 34-7716-2336232391
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Tor 103 Final
NJ 116
Chi 89 Final
Orl 81
Min 100 Final
Phi 111
OKC 111 Final
Atl 104
GS 103 Final
Bos 107
Cle 119 Final
NY 115
Ind 108 Final
Dal 116
Pho 102 Final
Mil 88
Miami 95 Final
SA 125
Char 84 Final
LAL 92