Hornets.com postgame: Hornets 105, Pacers 103

Sunday, December 28, 2008
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Pinned in the left corner by a Pacers double-team with the shot clock winding down, Chris Paul didn't have many options. Good thing David West was nearby.

With the game tied in the final seconds, Paul dished a bounce pass to his 2008 All-Star teammate, who was positioned just inside the three-point arc, only a few feet away. West drilled a difficult 20-footer with 2.5 seconds remaining, giving New Orleans a 105-103 lead. Indiana's three-point heave at the buzzer was off the mark, sealing a come-from-behind Hornets victory.

"I was about to take a bad shot, to tell you the truth," Paul said of the game-deciding play and locating West, barely avoiding a 24-second violation.

West, who has made more than a handful of game-winners over the past three-plus seasons, connected on his first of 2008-09.

New Orleans (18-9) trailed for a majority of the night, including being down 94-88 with about four minutes left. Paul (19 points, 12 assists) and James Posey (19 points) delivered plenty of clutch buckets in the final period, combining for 21 points.

Other notes from Conseco Fieldhouse:

PEJA RETURNS
Peja Stojakovic played for the first time since Dec. 16 at Memphis. He looked good physically, registering 12 points, eight rebounds and three steals.

HORNETS POSTGAME QUOTES
Byron Scott

“(On the Pacers) They’re a very good basketball team. I told our guys before the game, don’t judge them by their record. Coach O’Brien has them playing very well and they have a star in Granger. Granger killed us. He made shots. Their whole front line killed us. Murphy had 16 points and 16 boards. Hibbert (Roy) had 19 points. They played a good game. (On the Hornets) Our star made the plays. We got lucky. I told the team that we got lucky tonight. (On the last play) We just ran one of our normal plays and C.P. (Chris Paul) drew a bunch of defenders and got David (West) the ball and he hit another big shot for us just like he always does. (On Danny Granger) He’s going to be a superstar. Every time I see him shoot, I think it’s going in and he is going to be the face of this franchise.”

David West
“(On the last shot) We got lucky at the end to have the last possession and it was lucky for us they didn’t have any timeouts. C.P. had guys all around him and got it to me. I took a couple of steps and got a shot at the goal. I thought he was going to shoot it himself, and at the last second he kind of dumped it off to me. In that situation, there is no time to worry about outcome. You just shoot it. (On Chris Paul’s outstanding fourth quarter) He became real aggressive and was able to attack the basket. He and James (Posey) both made some big plays down the stretch. (On Danny Granger) With the kind of basketball he’s capable of, you need to prepare for him just like you are going to prepare for McGrady or somebody like that.”

Chris Paul
“(On the last shot) I was able to get in the lane but that last time Jeff Foster did a pretty good job containing me. I got on the baseline and knew the shot clock was getting low and I was about to take a bad shot. I saw D. West right there and I know that’s what he does. I tight-roped a pass through there and he knocked it down as usual.
(On him taking over the game in the fourth quarter and late in the game) "We scrimmage in practice day in and day out and work on those situations. We’re one of those teams that know what we want to do down the stretch and we usually execute it.
(On the win) We were lucky and sometimes you have to get lucky. I just give a lot of credit to Indiana. That team plays hard every possession. They make you guard them. They’re a lot better than their record says.”