It still wasn’t enough for New Orleans to beat the Rockets.
Houston (20-13) defeated New Orleans (14-16) 108-100 on Tuesday, when Brooks scored nine of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to help his team rally from an eight-point deficit. The Rockets overcame both West’s 44-point night and Paul’s 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
West, who attempted a career-high 30 shots, also pulled down 12 rebounds.
“Our big guys have to do a better job of keeping him from the spots he wants to get to,” Houston coach Rick Adelman said.
As critical as Brooks was in that win, he may have been even better in Thursday’s 97-94 victory over Dallas, finishing with 30 points and shooting 11 for 26, including a 6-of-12 effort from 3-point range. He’s 11 for 19 from beyond the arc in the last two wins.
“He’s our guy so he better get used to it,” said Rockets forward Shane Battier(notes), who had 20 points against the Hornets earlier this week. “We have all the confidence and faith in Aaron in late-game situations. We want the ball in his hands to make decisions and hit big shots like he did tonight.”
Brooks, Battier and the Rockets are looking to win their fourth straight over the Hornets and second in a row in New Orleans.
Although Adelman and the Rockets have had recent success in this series, the Hornets have been tough to beat at home in 2009-10, going 12-3 including an active streak of four wins.
New Orleans posted a 95-91 victory over Miami on Wednesday - the third time during the home winning streak it has held an opponent to fewer than 93 points.
On the other end of the floor, West had another productive game, finishing with a team-high 21 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hornets saw a 15-point fourth quarter lead evaporate when Miami pulled ahead 88-87 with one minute left. However, West scored the next six points as New Orleans regained control.
“Me and D-West know in those situations, that’s when we’ve got to be assertive,” said Paul, who finished with 18 points, nine assists and four steals. “We’re going to go as me and him go and we do a good job of playing off each other. Luckily we righted the ship at the right time.”
Paul failed to record a double-double for the fourth time in five games, after reaching double digits in both points and assists for seven consecutive games before the current stretch. He’s averaging 21.4 points and 10.1 assists in his last seven games against the Rockets.