“I think it’s a mismatch every time, me personally,” Maggette said, inducing laughter around him in the locker room. “Whoever guards me I just think it’s a mismatch because I’m just a person that tries to keep a person on their heels and attack them every which way. Everyone knows I’m trying to go to the basket.”
Jamal Crawford scored 17 for Golden State, hitting a 19-foot jumper with 15.4 seconds left—a crushing blow after Stojakovic had pulled New Orleans to 85-82 with 37 seconds left.
The two all-stars didn’t get a lot of help, however. The Hornets shot an unusually low 36 percent from the field and missed seven of their 33 free throws, which came back to haunt them in the end.
“It looked like a bunch of guys were heavy-legged for whatever reason,” Hornets coach Byron Scott said. “We can’t just expect CP or David to get the job done themselves.”
Paul scored 15 points during the third quarter, including all of New Orleans’ points during an 11-2 run that turned a four-point deficit into a 60-55 lead. Golden State was able to pull into a 67-all tie at the end of the quarter with the help of tough tip-ins by Andris Biedrins and Ronny Turiaf.
“They let us hang around and we got hot at the right time,” Nelson said. “
Maggette was one of the Warriors’ prized free agent acquisition in the offseason, but the season hadn’t quite as he had planned and Nelson asked him to accept a sixth-man role coming off the bench.
“This is the best option to help this team win,” Maggette said. “We need some fire power off the bench. As a player, you’ve got to make sacrifices to try to win and try to make something happen to keep everyone happy.”
Maggette’s first basket of the fourth quarter gave Golden State a 73-70 lead with about six minutes to go. When Paul’s driving layup pulled New Orleans to 80-78, Maggette responded with a 14-foot turnaround along the baseline.
Soon after, Maggette scored inside while being fouled by Stojakovic, giving Golden State an 85-79 lead with 1:21 to go.
“We didn’t think (Stojakovic) could guard him and he couldn’t, of course,” Nelson said.
Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis each scored 15 points for the Warriors, with Ellis hitting a pair of free throws with 14.3 seconds left. The Warriors made 19 of 22 free throws and shot 41 percent from the field, which is low for them but still markedly better than New Orleans in this game.
“We’ve had a tough time with teams with four guys that can handle the ball and they got us tonight,” Paul said.
Stojakovic, who fouled out in the final seconds, finished with 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting, including 1-of-6 from 3-point range while guarded mostly by Jackson. It was an untimely off night for Stojakovic, who’d scored 26 points three times in the last five games.
“I love playing defense and I’m able to get the best of guys on some nights. I know it’s not going to happen every night,” Jackson said. “I’m glad it was tonight.”
New Orleans led 29-19 when West put back an offensive rebound to open scoring in the second quarter. The Hornets were up 40-31 when Jackson’s fast-break layup began a 16-2 Warriors run that included a 3 by Jackson and two layups by Ellis.
The spurt gave the Warriors a 47-42 lead before Devin Brown’s driving floater high off the glass pulled New Orleans to 47-44 at halftime.
Turiaf had three blocks, marking the 23rd game this season in which he’s had at least two blocks. … The Warriors are 5-20 on the road. … The Hornets are 16-6 at home. New Orleans, which is 12-9 on the road, plays at San Antonio on Saturday night.