Jason Smith Blake Grffin
March 23, 2012 by staff
Jason Smith Blake Grffin, NEW ORLEANS-Chris Paul wanted out of New Orleans for a better chance to win. In his first trip back, he received a mix of a cheers and boos, and left with a loss.
Chris Kaman scored 20 points and the Hornets rallied for a 97-90 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, spoiling Paul’s return. Jarrett Jack and Jason Smith each scored 17 as New Orleans snapped a five-game home losing streak.
“There was a lot of emotions going through my head,” Paul said. “But as soon as they threw the ball up, all of that was out the window.”
The Clippers were held to 11 points in the fourth quarter as they shot 4 for 23 from the field. Los Angeles also missed its last 19 3-point attempts.
After trailing throughout the first three quarters, the Hornets went ahead with an 11-2 run at the start of the fourth and led the rest of the way.
“We just wanted to come out there and play aggressive, no matter if they got a dunk,” Smith said. “They’re going to get highlight dunks and highlight this and highlight that.”
Blake Griffin had 21 points for Los Angeles, which has lost three in a row for the first time this season. Paul, who forced a trade from New Orleans before the season, added 16 points on 5-for-14 shooting.
“There’s frustration, there’s no question,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. “But, hey, you’ve got come ready to play every night and you can’t take plays off.”
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