Paul nets double-double in 146-119 victory

Sunday, February 15, 2009
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

Two All-Star Game appearances. Two double-doubles for Chris Paul. The Hornets' 6-foot point guard netted 14 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds in the Western Conference's 27-point rout over the East. Paul had several highlight-reel passes, along with a rare alley oop dunk in the second half, off a feed from Tony Parker.

Meanwhile, David West finished with six points and three rebounds in 15 minutes of playing time. Paul and West will join their Hornets teammates in Oklahoma City on Monday, to begin preparations for the second-half opener at the Thunder, 7 p.m. Tuesday.

"I'm glad to be back healthy," Paul said on NBA TV after Sunday's All-Star Game. "Once our team gets healthy, we're going to be looking forward to the second half of the season."

West, Paul make second All-Star appearances tonight

When David West and Chris Paul take the floor this evening (7:30 p.m. Central) for the 2009 All-Star Game, they will become the fifth and sixth players in Hornets history to represent the franchise more than once at the midseason showcase (the others were Larry Johnson in 1993 and ’95; Alonzo Mourning in 1994-95; Glen Rice from 1996-98; and Baron Davis in 2002 and ’04).

Paul’s hectic weekend continued Saturday with another round of interviews in the morning, prior to an hour-long practice with the Western Conference All-Stars. He later attended a luncheon for the Fight Nights charity. Also in attendance at a Phoenix hotel were Dwyane Wade, Larry Fitzgerald, Mourning, Chris Tucker and Muhammad Ali. He spent the evening in a front-row seat during All-Star Saturday, witnessing Daequan Cook and Nate Robinson win the three-point and dunk contests, respectively.

“I’m trying to rest as much as possible, but (it’s been) just as busy (as All-Star 2008 in New Orleans),” Paul told TNT reporter Craig Sager. “It’s been a lot of fun so far.”

Paul discussed his approach to running the West offense, as the squad’s starting point guard. “It’s probably going to be the triangle offense, playing for Coach (Phil) Jackson,” Paul said. “We’re going to have a lot of fun. I’m excited.”

Sager also asked Paul who he’d be more likely to pass the ball to among the two participants in a long-standing hoops feud, Kobe Bryant or Shaquille O’Neal.

“Shaq,” the 6-foot, 175-pound Paul said, grinning. “(Because) Shaq could hurt me if he wanted to.”