Thursday, January 15, 2009
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Paul outplays Kidd, leads Hornets past Mavs

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[January 15, 2009]  DALLAS (AP) -- Chris Paul nearly showed Jason Kidd what a quadruple-double looks like, putting up 33 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and seven steals in the New Orleans Hornets' 104-97 victory over the slumping Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

Paul had to settle for his fourth triple-double of the season, one he's certain to savor because it came against Kidd, the active leader in that category and the guy who started ahead of him at point guard on the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team.

New Orleans pulled ahead at the start of the fourth quarter and Paul kept it that way, sending the Hornets to their first regular-season victory in Dallas since Jan. 24, 1998. The skid was 13 straight, although they won a playoff game here last spring.

Dallas' Jason Terry scored 28 points, and Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points and 13 rebounds, but the Mavericks dropped their fourth straight.

Dallas was coming off a hard-fought, last-second loss in Denver the night before -- and it showed. After controlling the game for most of the first half, then slipping into a tie after three quarters, the Mavs were only 3-of-12 with five turnovers in the final period when fans started heading for the exits.

The Hornets had lost their last game, two of three and three of five, a slump that's cost them first place in the strong Southwest Division. But coach Byron Scott expected his team to play hard after chewing them out for a lack of effort the previous game. Plus, they got a good night's sleep while the got behind and didn't pull out until a tight third quarter. Then James Posey hit a 3-pointer to put the Hornets up 84-81 early in the fourth and the Hornets never gave up the lead. That was Posey's only field goal.


Peja Stojakovic and David West each scored 16 points for New Orleans, and Devin Brown had 12. Antoine Wright was Dallas' only other scorer in double-figures with 15.

Kidd had a triple-seven, hitting that figure in points, rebounds and assists. He was 2-of-9 shooting, a slight improvement over the 1-for-9 he shot the previous two games.

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The head-to-head point guard battle rarely materialized as the Mavs went with other defenders against Paul. A highlight came early in the second half when Paul stole the ball from Nowitzki, then used a behind-the-back dribble to get free from Kidd on his way to scooping in a layup. He turned several more steals into layups in the fourth quarter, threatening his career-high of nine steals, which also came against Dallas.

Notes: Paul came in hitting 87 percent of his free throws, but missed 3 of 6 in the first half. ... Dallas' Josh Howard missed his third straight game with a shoulder injury. Coach Rick Carlisle said there's no update on his status. ... During the second quarter, Dallas led 16-4 in points in the paint. New Orleans won that category 38-28.

[Associated Press; By JAIME ARON]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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