OKLAHOMA CITY, March 31 (Ticker) -- Marc Jackson
and rookie Chris Paul
got their offensive games going after the break.
Jackson scored 18 of his season-high 24 points in the second
half and Paul netted 11 of his 21 in the final period as the New
Orleans Hornets posted a 107-102 triumph over the Memphis
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Behind the efforts of Jackson and Paul, the Hornets (34-37)
climbed within 1 1/2 games of the Sacramento Kings for the
eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Sacramento is visiting Golden State on Friday.
The Hornets have captured three of the four meetings with the
Grizzlies this season and won consecutive games for the first
time since February 25-26.
With 1:16 left in the fourth quarter, Speedy Claxton
tough jumper in the lane for a 99-94 advantage. Bobby Jackson
who scored 26 points, answered 14 seconds later to cut the
deficit to three.
Following an empty possession by the Hornets, Jackson converted
another layup with 42 seconds left to close within 99-98.
Paul responded with a three-point play with 20 seconds remaining
to push the lead back to four. After Mike Miller
sank two free
throws five seconds later to pull Memphis within 102-100, the
Hornets sank 5-of-6 foul shots in the clutch to secure the win.
Jackson made 10-of-16 shots and grabbed seven rebounds and Paul
added seven boards and five assists while sinking 11-of-13 free
throws for the Hornets, who shot 59 percent (38-of-64).
Jackson hit four 3-pointers and Shane Battier
had 24 points and
10 rebounds for the Grizzlies. Miller scored 23 points off the
bench for Memphis, which has lost three straight.