Peja Stojakovic's three-point barrage, Chris Paul's triple-double and Ryan Bowen's trademark hustle were the talk of the locker room after the Hornets' come-from-behind victory over Philadelphia (21-22). New Orleans (27-14) trailed 47-40 at halftime but outscored its guests 61-39 after intermission.
Stojakovic showed us "vintage Peja" by drilling five consecutive three-point attempts in the fourth quarter. His eruption helped the Hornets pull away in what had been a tightly-contested game.
"For most of the game (the Sixers) didn't want to leave me (open)," Stojakovic described. "But in the fourth quarter they were scrambling around. (Bowen) got the ball out to me a couple times, and that's how it started. Then we were able to get a couple offensive rebounds. It was fun."
Meanwhile, Paul was at his best again, with David West (back spasms) and Tyson Chandler (ankle) out for a third straight full game. Paul registered 27 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists, for his fifth triple-double of the season.
"He's amazing," Stojakovic lauded. "He does so many things for this ballclub. He's getting better and better each and every game."
Despite going scoreless, Bowen drew raves from Byron Scott and Stojakovic for his hustle. He was relentless on the glass - though only credited with one rebound - while sparking the fourth-quarter spurt. He had three assists, making the extra pass that led to open treys.
Hilton Armstrong (knee) returned to action after missing two games. Armstrong finished with six points and three rebounds in 25 minutes. ...
Hornets head coach Byron Scott said this morning that it's possible David West (back spasms) will play later this week.
"We want to take this as slow as possible to make sure he's at 100 percent," Scott said of West's possible return. "We want to make sure he doesn't have any pain or problems when he comes back on the court."
Scott said on the weekend that it's possible Tyson Chandler (ankle) won't make his return to the lineup until after the All-Star break. The Hornets' first game after the break is Feb. 17 at Oklahoma City.
"We want to make sure that ankle is strong before he comes back," Scott said, again stressing that he'd rather make sure players are fully healthy, rather than see them rush their return. "Because that's the second time he's sprained it this season. If he can come back before the All-Star break, great. But if not, so be it."