Hornets.com postgame: Hornets 113, Grizzlies 111

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

As much as Chris Paul tried to convince everyone in the locker room otherwise, the final Hornets possession wasn’t actually drawn up for James Posey, who scored what proved to be the game-winning basket with 1.1 seconds left.

“I was just a decoy,” a smiling Paul interjected to reporters, while Posey was being interviewed at the adjacent locker. “That play was supposed to go to Pose.”

“Come on man, these guys know better than that,” Posey responded in mock exasperation, saying that none of the assembled media types were going to buy Paul’s version of what happened.

Despite Paul’s initial protests, the point guard later admitted that the play actually was intended to go to the two-time All-Star. But the Grizzlies made sure Paul wouldn’t get his hands on the ball by double-teaming him, forcing the Hornets to inbound to Posey.

The veteran NBA forward made epic clutch shots for Miami and Boston during the NBA Finals in 2007 and 2008. Tonight’s hoop obviously wasn’t nearly as momentous as those he provided with the Heat and Celtics, but it still capped a much-needed victory for New Orleans (22-19).

The Hornets were superb during a 64-point first half, the most points they’ve scored in a half all season, but fell behind by 10 in the fourth quarter before rallying. In a tightly-packed Western Conference playoff race, home games against close competitors such as Memphis (22-19) take on added importance.

As several players cooled down a few minutes after the final buzzer, David West, Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton gazed up at the TV monitors in the locker room that were showing ESPN’s Utah-San Antonio broadcast. During a brief timeout, ESPN showed its “NBA Moment of the Night,” which turned out to be Posey’s game-winning layup.

“Hey Pose,” someone yelled in the direction of the shower area, “Get out here! You’re on TV.”

Click on NEWS/Postgame Quotes for more reaction from the Southwest Division matchup.