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GAME OF THE DAY

Paul scores 40 points in Hornets' victory

December 27, 2007|From the Associated Press

MEMPHIS, TENN. — Chris Paul had 40 points and nine assists, and the New Orleans Hornets used a third-quarter spurt to beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 116-98, on Wednesday night.

Paul was 17 for 25 from the field, including five for eight from three-point range, as the Hornets won their third in a row. It marked the second-highest point total in Paul's career. Only his 43 points against the Grizzlies on Dec. 7 were better.

"Right from the get-go, I try to notice how the defense is going to defend me," Paul said. "Early, I heard [Memphis Coach Marc Iavaroni] yell 'Get under,' to the guards. It sort of clicked with me that they were going to let me shoot. Then I made my first couple of shots, and I got going."

Iavaroni compared Paul's use of the pick-and-roll to that of All-Star guards Steve Nash and Jason Kidd, and said a lack of defensive intensity was the reason none of the Grizzlies' defensive strategies worked.

"We tried to get the ball out of his hands, he found shooters, and they buried us. We came up and helped, he found the roll guy for lobs, and he buried us. But that is something we have to face," Iavaroni said.

Peja Stojakovic finished with 21 points and David West had 20 for the Hornets, who shot 56%.

Rudy Gay and Mike Miller led Memphis with 19 points apiece, and Kyle Lowry finished with 15. Lowry also had eight assists.

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