Hornets 101, SuperSonics 92, OT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)—Even with only one of their five starters on the court, the New Orleans Hornets still showed off their overtime prowess.
Bobby Jackson scored seven of his 18 points in the extra period and the Hornets overcame the lowest-scoring fourth quarter in franchise history in a 101-92 win against the Seattle SuperSonics on Wednesday night.
New Orleans is now 6-0 in overtime games this season—with the latest win coming in a game when starters Tyson Chandler, Desmond Mason and Chris Paul all got hurt. The six overtime wins is a season record for the franchise.
“One thing that helps us out is when we go into overtime now, we have the ultimate confidence to know that we can win the game. We’re undefeated in overtime on the season,” said Paul, who was one assist shy of his fourth career triple-double. “When it goes to overtime, we feel like we’re well-conditioned and we’ve been in the situation enough times to overcome it.”
Jackson and fellow reserve Rasual Butler scored all of the Hornets’ points during a 13-3 run to start overtime, and Seattle coach Bob Hill was left scratching his head after Butler’s second 3-pointer in the stretch gave New Orleans a 97-87 lead with 1:47 to play.
“I think it’s a gut check for us. We know that the game shouldn’t have been that close in the fourth quarter,” said Jackson, who had four free throws and a 3-pointer of his own in the surge.
David West added 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Butler scored 16 as the Hornets landed six players in double figures. West was the only New Orleans starter that played in the overtime, with Jackson replacing guard Devin Brown in the lineup.
Paul had 11 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, but sat out the overtime period after coming down wrong on his left foot. He has been playing through a stress reaction in the foot, which may require offseason surgery.
“My foot right there in the fourth quarter, I thought that it was hurting a little too bad,” Paul said. “I thought (Jannero Pargo) could do a better job than me playing hurt. He came in and got the win.”
Brown scored 14 points and Marc Jackson added 13 points after replacing Chandler, who reaggravated a bruised left toe in the first quarter. Mason went out after he was elbowed in the face by Seattle’s Chris Wilcox in the second quarter. Butler stepped in for him.
Chandler, Mason and Paul were all considered day-to-day, with results of a CT scan on Mason’s right eye still pending. Chandler was wearing a walking boot on his left foot as he left the arena.
“I don’t know if we’ve got a hex on us or not, but we seem to get hit with every scenario possible,” Jackson said. “We’ve had guys step up all year, so we have to continue to have guys step up and just continue to play hard.”
Before scoring six points in the fourth quarter against the Sonics, the Hornets’ previous low in a fourth period was seven points in a 97-75 loss at Detroit on Dec. 28, 1996. It also matched the lowest point total for any quarter in team history.
Rashard Lewis led Seattle with 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Damien Wilkins scored nine of his 16 points in the fourth quarter as the SuperSonics erased a 13-point deficit. Earl Watson also scored 16 points for the Sonics, who have lost three straight.
Wilcox also sprained his left ankle on the same play he elbowed Mason on the right cheek.
After scoring the final four points to take a halftime lead, the Hornets started the third quarter on a 14-6 run to go up 62-51 on West’s right-handed hook shot in the lane. Paul’s two free throws pushed the lead to 78-63 before Lewis closed the period with a jumper.
That started a rally for the Sonics, who got another 3-pointer from Lewis and then reeled off eight straight points to get within 80-76 on Watson’s jumper from the right elbow with 6:42 to play.
Seattle cut the deficit to 84-82 when Wilkins picked off a Paul pass and ran downcourt for a fast-break layup. Lewis then missed a 3-pointer and a jumper in the lane, and Wilkins missed a 3-pointer from the corner with chances to tie or take the lead.
Paul missed a jumper from the right elbow to put the Hornets up by two possessions with 24 seconds left, and Watson came through for the Sonics by drilling a jumper to tie it at 84 with 2.3 seconds left. West missed a jumper at the regulation buzzer.
SuperSonics owner Clay Bennett, an Oklahoma City businessman that bought the team in July, said before the game that the team would wait until the regular season is over to re-evaluate whether changes need to be made. … Two of Paul’s three career triple-doubles came in a three-game span last April. … West, who was 20-for-20 from the free throw line in New Orleans’ previous five games didn’t go to the foul line against the Sonics.