Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/7

Game 1: Friday, November 7th
Hornets89Final
Bobcats92
Game 2: Wednesday, December 10th
Bobcats89Final
Hornets105

Hornets 89

(3-2, 2-1 away)

Bobcats 92

(2-3, 2-1 home)

    Coverage: FSCRHD

    7:00 PM ET, November 7, 2008

    Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    NO 28 7 26 2889
    CHA 26 21 19 2692

    Top Performers

    NO: C. Paul 20 Pts, 3 Reb, 10 Ast, 6 Stl

    Cha: R. Felton 20 Pts, 1 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Paul's fifth-straight 20-10 game to start season not enough for Hornets

    Associated Press

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Chris Paul had hundreds of friends and family members cheering him on. Raymond Felton hit the big free throws down the stretch.

    But it was the rookie point guard that stole the spotlight, helping the Charlotte Bobcats to an unlikely win.

    CP3 vs. The Big 'O'

    Chris Paul rebounded from a rough first half to get 20 points and 10 assists for the fifth straight game. He joins Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to open a season with five straight 20-point, 10-assist games.
    Robertson, '61-62
    Paul, '08-09
    PPG32.021.4
    APG14.411.4
    Team W-L2-33-2

    D.J. Augustin, the ninth pick in the draft and for now Felton's backup, spearheaded Charlotte's comeback Friday night, keying a fourth-quarter rally as the Bobcats spoiled Paul's homecoming in a 92-89 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.

    New coach Larry Brown's second win in five games with the Bobcats came after a decision to go with an odd lineup midway through the fourth quarter. Augustin, Adam Morrison and Matt Carroll helped the Bobcats go on a 14-2 run, with Augustin's 3-pointer giving Charlotte an 85-78 lead with 2:54 left.

    Charlotte then survived New Orleans' late charge, with Felton hitting two free throws before Paul missed a tying 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

    Augustin, the former Texas star, finished with 11 points, four assists and one turnover.

    "I don't look at him as a sub," Brown said. "I think it's important that he plays against somebody like Chris Paul."

    Paul, who grew up 90 minutes away and bought 500 tickets for friends and family, recovered from a scoreless first half to have 20 points, 10 assists and six steals. But Paul had a key turnover in the final minute before missing a long jumper from the right wing as time expired, sending the Hornets to their second straight loss after a 3-0 start.

    "They did a good job of closing off the lane," Paul said. "I wasn't able to get in there as easy and create shots for our shooters."

    Felton and Jason Richardson scored 20 points apiece for the Bobcats, who made 29 of 31 free throws and got a big contribution from the bench. Morrison was 3-of-5 on 3-pointers and scored nine points, getting feeds from Augustin.

    Just a Day's Work

    Chris Paul has been the master of the 20-10-5 game. Here's the list of players with the most games with at least 20 points, 10 assists, and five rebounds since the 2005-06 season:
    Player
    Games
    Chris Paul8
    Allen Iverson7
    Baron Davis3
    LeBron James3

    "He's great. You can see him growing as a young point guard," Morrison said. "We're still barely into the season, but he makes big plays."

    The Hornets rallied from an ugly first half behind Paul to take as much as a five-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.

    After the Augustin-fueled Charlotte comeback, the Hornets got within striking distance on two 3-pointers by Peja Stojakovic, who had 20 points. The second cut Charlotte's lead to 90-89 with 14 seconds left.

    But the Bobcats prevailed, earning a loud cheer from the small crowd. But it was far from the atmosphere 20 years ago this week when the Hornets debuted in a frenzied Charlotte.

    The Hornets seemed interested in reminiscing in the second quarter, putting on a brutal display that rivaled the ineptitude of that 62-loss, Kurt Rambis-led expansion team of 1988-89.

    The Hornets were outscored 21-7, shot 3-for-17 and missed all five 3-point attempts in falling behind 47-35 at halftime. Paul, playing passively, was 0-for-2 from the field with one assist in the first half and thoroughly outplayed by his former college rival, Felton, who had 11 points.

    Paul, who grew up in Winston-Salem, left his cheering section disappointing. It was also not what Hornets coach Byron Scott had in mind.

    Upset with the team's defense and rebounding in Wednesday's loss to Atlanta, Scott put his team through a grueling two-hour practice Thursday that included nearly all running and defensive drills and no scrimmaging or work on offensive sets.

    Paul got more aggressive in the third quarter, driving to the basket and scoring 14 points as the Hornets got within 66-61. He had consecutive steals and hit a fadeaway as New Orleans took a 76-71 lead.

    But the team that moved to New Orleans in 2002 couldn't hold on -- and Augustin had plenty to do with it.

    "Every game is a learning experience for me," Augustin said. "They are a very good team and it's a good momentum builder for us."

    Game notes


    The seven points in the second quarter were the fewest ever allowed by the Bobcats in any quarter. ... Bobcats F Sean May was inactive for the fourth straight game as he works on his conditioning. When asked if May is getting closer, Brown said "a little bit." ... Hornets F Melvin Ely (dental work) did not dress. ... While it's no surprise the well-traveled Brown once coached Scott in Indiana -- "I've coached everybody in this league," Brown joked -- Scott indicated he nearly backed out on a commitment to attend Arizona State when Brown, then coaching UCLA, started recruiting him. "If he had came a week earlier I would have gone to UCLA," Scott said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    NO
    CHA
    Points 89 92
    FGM-FGA 32-76 (.421) 28-67 (.418)
    3PM-3PA 11-28 (.393) 7-18 (.389)
    FTM-FTA 14-19 (.737) 29-31 (.935)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-37 10-37
    Assists 21 15
    Turnovers 17 15
    Steals 9 10
    Blocks 5 2
    Fast Break Points 7 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (1/0) 22 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 7 14

    Top Performers

    New Orleans
    Charlotte
    Chris Paul Paul
    Points: 20
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 6
    Blk: 0
    Raymond Felton Felton
    Points: 20
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0