NEW ORLEANS (AP)—Morris Peterson’s long-range shooting streak didn’t stop with his dramatic, game-tying four-point play in a victory at New Jersey earlier this week.
“Mo came out ready to play. That shot he hit against Jersey is one of those things that can get you going,” Hornets coach Byron Scott said. “He hit the first shot tonight and it seemed to be a snowball effect.”
Peterson hit the first four 3-pointers he attempted in the first quarter. He also hit all seven of his foul shots, including three after a missed 3-point attempt on which he was fouled.
“I guess tonight was my night,” Peterson said. “When they threw the ball to me. I was just ready to shoot, ready to knock down shots.”
At 7-2, the Hornets have matched their best start in franchise’s 20-year history, tying a mark set in 2002-03, their first season in New Orleans after moving from Charlotte. The Hornets have never been 8-2, a mark they have a chance to hit on Friday night at Memphis.
The only question is how much they’ll have to win to get fans to turn out to see them play. Attendance was announced at 8,302, marking the second time in four home games that fans set a new low for the smallest crowd to see a Hornets regular-season game in New Orleans Arena.
Those who did show up were treated to a long-range shooting exhibition.
“Our shooting is a big part of our game, especially having a guy like Chris who can penetrate, get through the seams, get through the creases and find guys,” Peterson said. “Peja and I, we sit on the perimeter and when we get the ball we’ve got to be ready to shoot.”
It was a sloppy game all around, but worse for Philadelphia, which committed 21 turnovers that the Hornets converted into 23 points. New Orleans turned the ball over 16 times.
“Fighting uphill is a tough position when a lot of their players are hitting 3s,” Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. “We were playing a team with some shooters. Peterson made some shots we would prefer he not make, and when he and others are making 3s they are tough to guard.”
It was the second game in a row that New Orleans had hit 11 3-pointers. The Hornets have shot 22-of-37 (59.5 percent) from long range during the past two games.
Tyson Chandler and Paul each notched their fifth double-doubles of the season. Chandler had 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Paul had 13 points and 10 assists, improving the Hornets to 3-0 when both accomplish that feat in the same game.
David West had 16 points for New Orleans. Paul had four steals.
Peterson almost single-handedly gave New Orleans a double-digit lead in the first quarter with 16 points before nine minutes had elapsed.
Peterson ended up with five 3s in the first half and the Hornets led 34-22 after West’s layup midway through the second quarter.
But Philadelphia began to chip away. Green hit a pair of 3-pointers and Miller’s driving layup as he was fouled helped the Sixers pull to 39-38. Andre Iguodala then hit a driving layup in the final second of the half to tie the game at 43.
The game remained close until the Hornets opened the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run, sparked by Butler’s and Jackson’s 3-pointers.
By hitting his first four 3-point attempts, Peterson tied a franchise record of nine consecutive made 3-pointers before he missed his next attempt. … Iguodala missed an open dunk, clanking his driving one-hander off of the back rim. … The Hornets played at Philadelphia on Sunday, beating the 76ers 93-72. … Philadelphia outrebounded the Hornets 41-35, the first time in six games that the 76ers had outrebounded an opponent.