Hornets 109, Bucks 101, 2OT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)—Considering his team’s recent success, coach Byron Scott suggested it wouldn’t be a bad idea if the New Orleans Hornets went to overtime in each of their remaining 32 games.
Desmond Mason scored 24 points and David West shrugged off a bruised hand to add 21 points and a career-high 19 rebounds as New Orleans beat the Milwaukee Bucks 109-101 in double-overtime Thursday night.
It was the second straight overtime win for the Hornets, who survived on Mason’s last-second tip-in a night earlier in Denver. The Hornets hadn’t won back-to-back overtime games since beating San Antonio and Cleveland in games bracketing Christmas in 2000—when the team was still in Charlotte.
“We’ve got some toughness,” said Scott, whose team is 4-0 in overtime this season. “We’re young, but we’ve got some toughness. We’ve got some heart.”
West scored off his second straight offensive rebound to give the Hornets the lead at the outset of the second overtime, and Bobby Jackson gave them a 103-99 edge with a 3-pointer from the right wing with 1:42 left.
Chris Paul added a pair of free throws, and West and Mason each hit one in the final minute to put the game away.
“We were just working hard, just trying to do what we can in terms of our effort,” said West, who missed the last 9 minutes of the third quarter while waiting for numbness to leave his bruised right hand. “That’s the one thing that we did. We fought hard. We gave a great effort in terms of getting after it, staying after it.”
The Bucks missed their first nine shots in the second overtime and didn’t make a field goal until Mo Williams’ foul-line jumper made it 107-101 with 16.4 seconds left.
Tyson Chandler had 11 points and a career-high 22 rebounds as New Orleans had a 71-49 advantage on the boards. It was Chandler’s ninth straight game with at least a dozen rebounds, extending a franchise record he broke against the Nuggets.
Paul, who ended up with 14 points and 10 rebounds, called the performance by Chandler and West “unbelievable.”
“Those guys really kept us in the game,” Paul said.
The Hornets, who have won seven of their last nine games, got their 23rd win to match Denver, Minnesota and Golden State—the eighth, ninth and 10th place teams in the West.
Williams ended up with 30 points and Ruben Patterson had 28 points and a season-high 16 rebounds to lead Milwaukee, which has lost eight straight road games.
“I have to give their big men some credit,” Patterson said. “They outrebounded us tonight and second-chance points killed us. It is a disappointing loss. This was a game we should have had.”
West’s two free throws tied the score at 97 with 13.9 seconds left in the first overtime, and Williams dribbled down the remaining time before missing a 3-pointer as time expired.
The Hornets needed to rally from four points down in the final minute of regulation after squandering a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead. New Orleans benefited from missed free throws by Williams and Earl Boykins, and Paul scored the Hornets’ final six points in regulation.
“After winning a game like we did last night, it would have been crazy to give this one away,” West said. “Guys kept fighting, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Boykins entered as a 91 percent free-throw shooter, ranking third in the NBA among players with at least 100 makes.
“The odds of him missing one are pretty slim, and he missed one,” Scott said. “So basically, we got a reprieve.”
Mason scored 16 points, including the final six of the first half, as the Hornets outscored Milwaukee 23-8 to build a 68-53 lead midway through the third quarter.
The Bucks then started closing the gap, and they tied it at 82 after four straight free throws by Williams with 4:06 remaining in regulation.
Chandler was called for basket interference on consecutive Hornets possessions, and his foul sent Villanueva to the line for a free throw that put Milwaukee up 83-82 and ended a run of 11 straight Bucks points.
West ended a 6-minute scoring drought for New Orleans with a driving layup, but Williams answered with a jumper and then hit 1-of-2 free throws. Villanueva’s two foul shots with 48.9 seconds left made it 88-84.
Paul cut the deficit to two with a pair of free throws, and then made a pair of layups to tie it up.
“All you’ve got to do is win by one,” Paul said. “It doesn’t matter how good or ugly it looks. All you’ve got to do is win.”
Bucks C Jared Reiner, who had been playing for Sioux Falls in the NBDL, had one rebound and one assist after signing a 10-day contract with Milwaukee earlier in the day. Forward Damir Markota was recalled a day earlier as the Bucks seek frontcourt depth with Dan Gadzuric (left shoulder) and Brian Skinner (back) out. … Bucks C Andrew Bogut was called for two defensive three second fouls in the first 7 minutes. … Bucks coach Terry Stotts, honored Wednesday night as part of a celebration of 100 years of basketball at the University of Oklahoma, said it was his first time back at the Lloyd Noble Center since he was completing his graduate degree in the late 1980s.