Toronto, Canada – WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The New Orleans Hornets took control in the fourth quarter to defeat the troubled Washington Wizards 115-110 and win their sixth consecutive game on Sunday.
The Hornets broke a 101-101 deadlock with six successive points late in the fourth to put away the Wizards, who were seeking their second win in a row without suspended guard Gilbert Arenas.
"We are still getting better as a team," New Orleans forward Peja Stojakovic, who scored 20 points, told reporters. "Tonight we were up 14 (in the third quarter) and we let the lead slip away. We've got to be more focused on our game plan and be able to finish games better."
Rookie Marcus Thornton scored 10 of his 15 points in the deciding fourth for New Orleans, who trailed Washington 82-80 after three quarters.
Chris Paul led New Orleans with 26 points and 14 assists while Antawn Jaminson scored 32 points for the Wizards.
Paul broke the 101-101 tie with a jumper and had six more points in the final 2:49.
Arenas has been suspended indefinitely for bringing guns into the Wizards' locker room.
Team mate DeShawn Stevenson showed up with the words "AGENT" and "ZERO" (Arenas' nickname) written on his ankle tape, the Washington Post reported, and did not play.
Guard Randy Foye, who started for Arenas, backed up Jamison with 23 points, reserve Nick Young had 20 and center Brendan Haywood contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds.
"I can't fault our guys' effort," Wizards coach Flip Saunders said. "(But) turnovers down the stretch, our turnovers, basically gave them the win."
Washington had 19 turnovers, several with the game on the line.
"We had three turnovers in four possessions," Saunders said. "You can't do that when you are playing a team with a guy like Chris Paul who can dominate the game."
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina. Editing by Ed Osmond and John Mehaffey)