As many New Orleans sports fans celebrated the Saints' 45-14 thrashing of the Cardinals in the NFL playoffs about an hour earlier, the Hornets were busy putting the finishes touches on a needed road victory in the Hoosier State.
Chris Paul figured prominently in making it a 2-0 day for NOLA professional sports, approaching a triple-double with 22 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists. He scored the biggest hoop of the game, a jumper to put New Orleans (21-18) in front 99-93 with 1:01 remaining. The Hornets held on to secure a split of their back-to-back set that began Friday with an OT defeat in Detroit.
I just tried to make sure we came out of here with a win, Paul said. We felt like we let one slip away last night, but we needed to come out of this road trip with at least one win.
Were trying to pile up as many wins as we can.
HORNETS POSTGAME QUOTES (courtesy Indiana Pacers)
Hornets Head Coach Jeff Bower
I thought we were pretty sharp and fresh mentally and physically from the first quarter on. It was the best we moved up and down the floor in transition. It was good stuff for us.
(On their big men)
"I thought our bigs were all active and went to the glass and gave us second chances or at least kept it alive. They were wonderful stepping out, helping with three pointers on the perimeter. They did a great job tonight."
(On coming off of last nights loss)
It is a good answer for us coming off of the difficult loss. It is a good sign of maturity and confidence."
Hornets Guard Chris Paul
At times this year weve seemed to struggle after having 52 [actually 56) wins and 49 wins that last couple of years. We really want to build on that for the playoffs. But right now we need to keep our head above water to stay in the chase for the playoffs."
(On Troy Murphy, Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy)
We watch a lot of tapes of them and know that they are big scorers. But I think our bigs tonight, West, Okafor and Songaila were really getting the hand in their faces.
Hornets Forward David West
Against their offense we tried to limit their chances. Theyve got a potent offense and we wanted to limit their shot selection and really crash the defensive boards. When we were watching the tapes, we were looking at how to best defend them and I think we did real well in limiting their shots and keeping their hands in their faces."
(On looking to the future for playoffs)
We really need to pick up some games and play with more intensity and everyone really needs to continually step up when called upon.