Jan 4, 2011

Hornets Nest: Sixers fall in NOLA to complete road trip

David West scored 17 points, Chris Paul added 15 and five assists and the New Orleans Hornets held off a late Philadelphia surge to top the 76ers, 84-77.

Emeka Okafor added 13 points and eight rebounds, while former Sixer Willie Green finished with 11 points in a reserve role for New Orleans, which has won three straight.

"We needed to get this one," West said. "We have a tough stretch of games coming up. It's about continuing what we've been doing and trying to put some wins together."

Elton Brand led a balanced Philadelphia attack with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Andres Nocioni supplied 13 points and seven boards. Marreese Speights and Jrue Holiday both finished with 12 points and six rebounds for the shorthanded Sixers, who finished an eight-game road trip at 3-5.

Philadelphia played without starting center Spencer Hawes (mid-back strain) and starting small forward Andre Iguodala, who will miss three more games with tendinitis in his right Achilles.

New Orleans led 77-64 midway through the fourth quarter, but Brand made two free throws to start an 11-1 Sixers run that he capped with a short layup to make it a one-possession game entering the final three minutes.

West connected on a putback layup at 2:44 to build a five-point advantage for New Orleans, and after Philadelphia missed its next five shots, Evan Turner put the game at 80-77 after two free throws with 39.7 remaining.

Paul hit a driving layup on the next possession to make it a five-point advantage for New Orleans, and when the Sixers had a chance to cut it to one or tie, Jason Kapono committed a costly turnover, essentially ending the game.

Forced to foul, Philadelphia sent Paul to the line in the final seconds -- and he made both.

"With Chris Paul, he basically can get you a good shot anytime down the floor because of his ability to play pick-and-roll and do the things he does," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "He's such a great player."

Philadelphia held a 26-23 lead after a back-and-forth first quarter, but a poor-shooting second quarter (6-of-25) allowed New Orleans to take a 43-40 advantage at the half.

The Hornets widened their margin in the third quarter as they shot 52.6 percent from the field en route to a 68-58 lead entering the final stanza.

Game Notes

Thaddeus Young scored 10 points off the Philadelphia bench...The Sixers shot 1-of-8 from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter...The Hornets held a 34-30 margin in points in the paint.

Copyright: The Sports Network

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