Hornets find range, win

The Baltimore Sun

The Toronto Raptors were determined to keep Chris Paul out of the paint.

They limited Paul's penetration, but couldn't stop the New Orleans Hornets point guard from finding open shooters on the perimeter.

David West scored 29 points, James Posey added a season-high 20 points, including six three-pointers and 10 rebounds for the visiting Hornets, who beat the Raptors, 99-91, yesterday for their eighth win in 10 games.

Rasual Butler scored 16 points and Paul added 12 points and 12 assists for the Hornets.

Paul didn't take long to pick up on Toronto's strategy and made the Raptors pay, feeding Posey for five three-pointers in the first half.

"We noticed early in the game that when I was getting in the lane they were collapsing and wouldn't let me get to the basket," Paul said. "That's why our team is built for that. We have some great shooters. Pose shot the lights out in the first half."

Butler had four three-pointers for the Hornets, who went 12-for-33 from beyond three-point range. New Orleans leads the NBA in three-point shooting.

"When those guys start knocking down shots, then when we get in the lane they don't know whether to help," Paul said. "You've got to give up a layup to me, or a three to those shooters. That's what makes our team so dangerous."

Toronto coach Jay Triano said Paul "controlled the game."

"If he didn't get the pass that led to the three, they made one more," Triano said. "You have to be aware of where he is all the time. He's got nice pieces to throw the ball to and he can pick you apart."

Paul extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one steal to 104, and can match Alvin Robertson's NBA record when the Hornets visit Memphis tomorrow.

Paul's streak was in jeopardy until he swiped the ball from Jermaine O'Neal with 5:48 left.

"This will probably be the one I remember the most because I guess I didn't expect to get one," Paul said. "Over the course of the game there's so much going on that when it's close like that you're just thinking about getting a win."

Chris Bosh had 25 points, and Jose Calderon scored 22 for Toronto on 8-for-8 shooting. Calderon also made his only free throw and has hit 59 straight dating to last season.

"We had a chance to win against a pretty good team," Calderon said. "It's tough to guard Chris Paul and everybody has to be involved."

O'Neal added 19 points for the Raptors, who were shooting for their first three-game winning streak since a 3-0 start. Toronto is 5-6 at home.

"It's been a little tough for us because we haven't been home this month," Bosh said. "We just have to put something together, get some confidence at home."

Bosh made two free throws to make it 94-89 with 1:24 left, but Butler put in his third three-pointer of the quarter to build New Orleans' lead back up to eight.

"It helps that we have one of the best point guards in the game," Butler said.

Grizzlies 102, Heat 86:: O.J. Mayo scored 28 and Rudy Gay (Archbishop Spalding) added 18 for host Memphis, which won its fourth straight.

That streak is its longest since it won the final five games of the 2005-06 season. Dwyane Wade, who entered averaging a league-best 29.1 points, had his second straight subpar game.

He scored 17 on 5-for-16 shooting after making nine of 24 attempts in Miami's loss to Atlanta on Friday. Michael Beasley led Miami with 20 points.

Spurs 109, Thunder 104: : Tony Parker scored 22 points, and Tim Duncan had 20 points and 12 rebounds in host San Antonio's seventh straight victory.

Matt Bonner added 17 points, and Roger Mason had 14 for the Spurs. Jeff Green led Oklahoma City (2-23) with 33 points, and Kevin Durant had 28.

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