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Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010

Paul sidelined with knee injury

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Hornets' All-Star point guard Chris Paul is out indefinitely with a left knee injury that will likely require surgery.

News photo
Bad news: Chris Paul (right) of the Hornets is out indefinitely with an injury to his left knee. AP PHOTO

An MRI revealed more damage to the knee than the initial diagnosis of a bruise, New Orleans coach Jeff Bower said on Monday. The coach refused, however, to confirm reports that Paul had a meniscus tear and would miss at least a month.

"We're in fact-finding stages right now, gathering as much information as possible for decisions to be made to take the next steps," Bower said. "It is likely there will be a surgical solution for it. We don't have a timetable (for Paul's return) right now, nor do we know a surgical procedure right now."

Paul watched the Hornets' shootaround on Monday but was unavailable to reporters.

He first hurt his knee in a game at Golden State on Wednesday. He struck the same spot against a camera when he went out of bounds near the end of regulation against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.

He missed New Orleans' game at Memphis on Saturday.

Yahoo Sports, citing unidentified sources close to Paul, reported that test results showed a partially torn meniscus and that he would miss one to two months.

Paul, who sat out eight games earlier this year with a sprained ankle, was averaging a team-high 20.4 points and an NBA-best 11.2 assists. He was the runnerup to the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant for league MVP in 2007-08 and finished fifth last season.

Rookie Darren Collison, averaging 6.8 points and 3.2 assists, will start in Paul's place. Collison handed out a Hornets rookie-record 18 assists and scored 17 points on Saturday when New Orleans ended Memphis' 11-game home winning streak with a 113-111 overtime victory.

After starting slowly, the Hornets have won 13 of their last 17 games and were tied for the eighth spot in the Western Conference entering Monday night's home game against Phoenix.

Kobe passes West

MEMPHIS , Tenn. (AP) Kobe Bryant had 44 points and passed Jerry West for the top spot on the Los Angeles Lakers' career scoring list, but it wasn't enough as the Memphis Grizzlies got 22 points and 17 rebounds from Zach Randolph in a 95-93 victory on Monday night.

Rudy Gay led Memphis with 25 points, including a key 3-pointer with 29.5 seconds left.

Ron Artest's 3-point attempt from the right side bounced high off the rim as the horn sounded, ending the Lakers' four-game winning streak.

Bryant passed West's mark on a breakaway dunk in the third quarter. Bryant made 16 of 28 shots, including 4-for-7 outside the arc. Artest added 18 points and Pau Gasol had 10 points.

Lester Hudson had 13 points for Memphis, and Marc Gasol finished with 11 points.

Blazers 98, Bobcats 79

In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 17 points and Nicolas Batum and Jerryd Bayless had 15 points each and the hosts beat Charlotte.

The Trail Blazers, who had lost their previous two home games, got off to a 10-2 start and never looked back in ending Charlotte's three-game winning streak.

Portland had six players score in double figures. Rudy Fernandez scored 11 points, while Martell Webster and Dante Cunningham had 10. Andre Miller, who had 52 points on Saturday, had eight points and 10 assists for the Blazers.

Jazz 104, Mavericks 92

In Salt Lake City, Deron Williams had 18 points and 15 assists to help Utah extend its longest winning streak of the season to six.

Paul Millsap had 25 points for the Jazz, who had seven offensive rebounds in the final quarter while outscoring Dallas 27-16 to clinch the three-game season series.

Nuggets 112, Kings 109 (OT)

In Denver, Arron Afflalo hit a baseline jumper with 18.4 seconds left in overtime, and the Nuggets, down by 17 points in the third quarter, rallied to get the win.

Kenyon Martin had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Chauncey Billups had 23 points for Denver.

Suns 109, Hornets 100

In New Orleans, Amare Stoudemire scored 25 points and Grant Hill hit two late key baskets to help Phoenix get the win.

Bucks 97, Heat 81

In Miami, Andrew Bogut had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Carlos Delfino finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Milwaukee beat the Heat for the second time in three nights.

Dwyane Wade led Miami with 23 points, including single-handedly scoring the first 11 of the game.

Celtics 99, Wizards 88

In Washington, Kevin Garnett's 19 points led six Boston players in double figures, and the Celtics limited the Wizards to 2-for-18 shooting in the fourth quarter.

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