Nice memories, conjured up by the way they shot the ball for the New Orleans Hornets before a frenzied home crowd on Friday night.
Jackson hit a career-high seven 3-pointers and finished with 25 points, helping the Hornets roll to a 114-88 victory over the hapless Miami Heat.
“It felt good. It felt like those Sacramento days,” Jackson said.
Or maybe better.
Jackson, who made all nine of his shots, became the first Hornets player ever to make seven 3-pointers without missing one. That also tied Jackson for third in NBA history for most 3s in a game without a miss, two shy of Latrell Sprewell’s record.
“I felt like I was going to make every shot,” Jackson said. “The basket feels real big when you have that type of confidence and this game is all about confidence.”
New Orleans (24-12), off to the best 36-game start in team history, made 13 3-pointers and shot 61 percent overall in winning for the ninth time in 11 games. Miami (8-28) is still trying to end a losing skid that has reached 10 games.
Paul had 16 points on 7-of-7 shooting and 16 assists for New Orleans, while David West had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Stojakovic scored 15.
Pargo was 4-of-4 shooting for nine points, meaning he and fellow guards Jackson and Paul were a combined 20-of-20 from the field.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that—ever—with the kind of shooting Paul, Pargo and Bobby Jackson had tonight,” Miami coach Pat Riley said. “They were getting good shots. They had had good rhythm and we weren’t changing the rhythm of their shots.”
Miami outscored New Orleans 13-6 to open the second half and get as close as 61-56 on Udonis Haslem’s basket, but New Orleans responded with Chandler’s free throws and his alley-oop dunk from Paul. Soon after, Stojakovic hit a jumper and Jackson followed with back-to-back 3s for an 8-0 run that put New Orleans up 73-58.
“It was an absolute washout for us,” Riley said. “We never could get anything going. … We cut it to five in he third quarter and I thought we had a chance, but we just lost our resolve.”
The Hornets’ lead only got bigger from there as New Orleans continued to pour in 3-pointers, with Stojakovic adding two more in the period before Jackson, now in his 11th season, hit a career high with his sixth 3 to open the fourth, giving the Hornets an 89-66 lead.
His last 3-pointer a few minutes later made it 100-71.
In a 109-80 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers two nights earlier, poor outside shooting, including 1-of-11 from 3-point range, caused the Hornets to fall behind early and stay there. The Hornets also got only nine points from reserves in that loss.
Jackson, a reserve guard, ended that trend quickly. He hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter and scored 13 points in the first 15 minutes.
“I’d been lackadaisical and not aggressive coming into the game and I knew I had to be more aggressive coming off the bench,” Jackson said. “Every team that has a great record, their bench has been successful and ours hasn’t. Once we get to that level it’s going to be scary. We’re playing OK, but we can play much better.”
New Orleans’ reserves finished with 50 points, more than five times their average during the previous three games.
The Hornets also shot 71.4 percent through the first 19 minutes, hitting 18-of-21 shots at one point and going 7-of-9 on 3-pointers during that span, with Paul hitting two.
In the process, New Orleans jumped out to a 49-31 lead midway through the second quarter.
Blount, making his sixth straight start, kept Miami from getting run out of the building, scoring 19 points on several dunks and an array of short jumpers during the first two periods.
“I’m starting to feel comfortable out there,” Blount said. “The guys are understanding where I am at on the floor and where we need to be to be successful together.”
Still, New Orleans led by as many as 18 points in the first half and went ahead 55-39 after Chandler slammed down Pargo’s lob late in the second quarter.
Blount followed with another jumper, pulling the Heat to 55-41 at halftime.
Attendance was announced at 16,133. Average attendance in New Orleans Arena must be close to 15,000 from now until the end of next season to prevent an opt-out clause in the Hornets’ new lease extension, which otherwise runs through 2014, from taking effect. … New Orleans is 18-3 against teams with records worse than .500 at the time of the matchup. … Blount has averaged 14.2 points during his last six games.