Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Paul lifts both Hornets and Mavs

Chris Paul had 24 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds, one piledriver.

ESPN: Mavericks 94, Hornets 99
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- David West stumbled toward the sideline after hitting a fadeaway as he was fouled, then turned toward the bench and slapped the extended hand of Hornets coach Byron Scott.

It was an impromptu but fitting exchange between a player and coach who had plenty to celebrate on Tuesday night.

On the day Scott was named NBA coach of the year for the first time, he gave fans in New Orleans another first: an NBA playoff series victory.

Chris Paul had 24 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds, and the Hornets held on for a 99-94 victory over the Dallas Mavericks to win their first-round series in five games.

"That coach of the year award ... it wasn't a fluke," Paul said. "It's the frame of mind he puts us in. He gives us that ultimate confidence and he lets us play."

West scored 25 points for New Orleans and Jannero Pargo had 17, while Tyson Chandler had 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Growing Legend
Chris Paul's resume is steadily growing after each outstanding playoff performance. He's now on the list of players to average 24 points, 12 assists and 2 steals for a playoff series. Player Team Round
Chris Paul, '08 Hornets 1st Round
Tim Hardaway, '91 Warriors Conf. Semis
Kevin Johnson, '89 Suns 1st Round
John Stockton, '89 Jazz 1st Round
Magic Johnson, '87 Lakers NBA Finals
Isiah Thomas, '86 Pistons 1st Round
Johnny Moore, '83 Spurs Conf. Semis