Excellent win at the Palace of Auburn Hills for the Hornets, who wrapped up a 2-1 road trip, highlighted by wins over the Mavericks and Pistons. New Orleans (24-13) trailed by a point entering the final period, but outplayed Detroit in the fourth quarter to earn a hard-fought victory.
With the Hornets leading by three in the final minute, Chris Pauls nifty crossover move and layup gave the visitors an 87-82 edge with 26 seconds remaining. James Posey also drilled an extremely pivotal bucket for the Hornets, sinking a fadeaway 16-footer that put New Orleans in front 85-81 at 1:35.
"Not a bad trip," Paul said of going 2-1 on what may have been the toughest road trip of the season. "We wish we would have played better (Friday in Cleveland), but we'll take this win."
The Hornets now return to NOLA and will host Indiana on Monday at 2:30 p.m. Time to take a look at how each player fared during the 2-1 road trip:
Chris Paul: Struggled like virtually every Hornet in Cleveland, but had triple-double in Dallas and finished with 23 and 14 in Detroit. Listen to his interview on the Jim Rome Show by visiting Hornets.com's audio section.
Rasual Butler: Decent three-game stretch, shooting 50 percent from the field.
Peja Stojakovic: Showing some signs of breaking out of shooting slump, but still well below his career norms. Went 16-for-39 (41 percent) on trip, including 7-for-19 on treys.
David West: Rebounding was down at 5.3 per game, but 20 points were big in Detroit win. Shot a little below par by his standards, at 22-for-51 (43 percent)
Tyson Chandler: Stellar games in the wins, with two-point, nine-rebound outing sandwiched in between vs. Cavs.
James Posey: Very quiet in Dallas and Cleveland, but delivered big plays on both ends to help beat Pistons. Shot had not been falling prior to 5-for-8 at Auburn Hills.
Hilton Armstrong: His minutes have been dipping a bit lately. Played single-digit minutes in three straight games (prior to Saturday), after not doing so in any game since season opener at Golden State.
Antonio Daniels: Also saw less PT on trip. His 11 minutes at Detroit was most he played this week, He handed out six assists with no turnovers against Pistons. Listen to Joe Block's chat with Daniels in our audio section.
Devin Brown: Better offensively of late, shooting 8-for-19 on trip. His 12-point, four-assist game at Dallas may have been his biggest contribution of the season. Learn more about Brown's journey to the NBA in our audio section.
Julian Wright: Has been moved off the inactive list, appearing for one minute at Cleveland, his first game action since Christmas.
Morris Peterson: Did not play during trip. Visit Hornets.com's audio section to hear his thoughts on Michigan State retiring his jersey.
Sean Marks: Only PT on trip was five minutes at Dallas. Listen to his thoughts on being the first New Zealand native to play in the NBA.
Melvin Ely: Moved to inactive list for last two games of trip.
Ryan Bowen: Was inactive for all three games.
HORNETS POSTGAME QUOTES
(On their road trip) The one thing I told them before the game is that no matter what the perception was after the Cleveland game, if we come in here and take care of business this a great road trip. You win two out of three and that's a great road trip no matter how you look at it. We're pretty happy with the way we played tonight; I thought the energy was there.
(On the game) I really thought Tyson (Chandler) was the catalyst tonight. Going and hitting the boards, really running the floor and really putting the pressure on their guys to get back, and I really thought that was one of the biggest differences in the game.
(On their weaknesses) One of weaknesses is our communication on the defensive end. I thought tonight was one of our better efforts, as far as talking to each other and really trying to help each other as much as possible. Last night we gave up so many wide-open looks. Tonight we gave up maybe three or four, but for the most part everybody was covered and everybody had a hand in there face. We didn't do a great job on our defensive glass. (Jason) Maxiell and (Antonio) McDyess really took advantage of us in the second half, but other than that I thought we really played a pretty complete basketball game.
(On their game) "We defended well and we ran. We got out in transition. That's when I think we're at our best. I think Tyson (Chandler) was a huge lift for us tonight. We contested everything at the rim. Then when he gets out and runs on transition it makes the defense get back."
(On the road trip) "I'll take it. Dallas, Cleveland and Detroit? This is only my second time in my four years in the league we've won here in Detroit. Yeah we beat them, period."
(On the road trip) "Going into Dallas, going into Cleveland, going into Detroit, you leave and you say youre going to come back 2-1, you take it every time. Those are tough games, every last one of them has been tough, tough fought, and we are fortunate to come back 2-1."
(On his new game) "I want to make it a point to be very active, getting down the court and try to make the stretch the defense even if I have to sacrifice and get someone else the shot. It's the only way that it's going to open up the offense and get us clicking."