Chris Paul scored 32 points, David West had 29 and the New Orleans Hornets defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 96-84 Friday night.
The game was close inside the final five minutes before the Hornets went on a 17-1 run in a span of 3:25, with Paul scoring twice and setting up Julian Wright's alley-oop dunk and Rasual Butler's 3 during the spurt.
Rudy Gay had 23 points for Memphis, which lost its third straight.
After escaping with a 94-93 victory on Wednesday over a Minnesota squad that came in 27 games below .500, the Hornets struggled most of the night against Memphis, which entered the game with 33 more losses than wins. West was forced to play 43 minutes and Paul 42, and both looked tired in the middle of the fourth quarter before coming to life down the stretch.
The Grizzlies led 75-73 on Gay's jumper with 6:37 left before West scored on driving finger roll and a short jumper off the glass to put New Orleans back in the lead.
Gay's free throws tied the game at 79 with 4:46 to go before New Orleans began to pull away for good. West started the surge with a pair of free throws, then Paul split Marc Gasol and Mike Conley on a dribble drive for a layup that enlivened the crowd and seemed to energize the squad. West then scored again on a fast break layup set up by Wright's pass, the Grizzlies appeared helpless to stem the tide turning suddenly and decisively against them.
Butler finished with 11 points, the only Hornets player other than Paul and West to score in double figures. Paul also had nine assists and five steals while going 12-of-18 from the field.
Memphis wound up turning the ball over 20 times, four times on steals by Wright.
Gasol and Hakim Warrick each scored 12 points for the Grizzlies, who were in position to win consecutive road games for the first time all season until things fell apart down the stretch.
The Hornets appeared to be seizing control early on with a 10-0 run, fueled by West's finger roll and free throws, to take a 17-10 lead. But Memphis came right back with a 9-0 run, capped by Conley's 3 and fast-break layup, to go up 19-17.
Memphis led by as much as 35-26 when O.J. Mayo's layup capped a 10-0 run during which the Hornets failed to score a point for 3:50. Paul was on the bench during that stretch, and his return coincided with an 11-0 Hornets run that put New Orleans back in the lead, 39-37. Paul hit a jumper and assisted on inside baskets by Sean Marks and Ryan Bowen during the surge, while West, who scored 15 in the first half, added a three-point play on an inside basket.
The Grizzlies shot on 35 percent during the first two quarters, but stayed close by outscoring New Orleans 12-4 at the foul line, and trailed only 41-40 at halftime.
Notes:@ Hornets C Tyson Chandler (left ankle) missed his second straight game and swingman Peja Stojakovic (back) his ninth straight. ... The Hornets won two of the teams' previous three meetings. ... Mayo, who came in averaging 18.7 points in what has been a standout rookie campaign, was only 2-of-5 shooting in 41 minutes and finished with an unusually low six points. ... The Hornets were 18-of-20 form the foul line, while Memphis was 26-of-32.
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