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Monday, Nov. 1, 2010

All-Star Paul guides Hornets to victory

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Tony Parker began the day by signing a $50 million contract extension. He ended it on the bench in the fourth quarter, watching Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets remain unbeaten.

News photo
Stand aside: Milwaukee's Carlos Delfino drives against Charlotte's Gerald Wallace during the Bucks' 98-88 win on Saturday. AP PHOTO

Paul scored 25 points and New Orleans emerged as the only undefeated team in the Southwest Division, beating the San Antonio Spurs 99-90 Saturday for a 3-0 start under first-year coach Monty Williams.

Any pressure to keep this up?

"You don't have to tell me. I'm too young for all this stuff," said Williams, pointing to his goatee. "This thing will be white by the time the season is over with."

Williams beat his former coach and mentor, Gregg Popovich, who benched Parker and Tim Duncan after a miserable third quarter that ended with the Spurs trailing 76-60 after being down just one point at halftime.

The bench is probably not where Parker imagined he would be after agreeing to a four-year extension hours earlier.

But instead of Parker and Paul facing off in the fourth quarter in a matchup of three-time All-Stars, Parker sat while Paul blew past George Hill on a crossover dribble and hit a tough running bank shot to seal the win with 49.7 seconds left.

"Man, you have no clue how good it feels to play basketball again," said Paul, who missed 37 games last season after surgery on his right knee. "Last year sitting on the sidelines, you hear all this different stuff, and you just want to compete. This is what I do."

Parker finished with 13 points and missed five of his last six shots. He did not speak to reporters after the game.

Manu Ginobili, who led the Spurs with 23 points, has been with Popovich long enough to know he'll stick with the group that works.

Bulls 101, Pistons 91

In Chicago, Derrick Rose matched a career high with 39 points as the Bulls staged a big rally to beat the Pistons.

Bucks 98, Bobcats 88

In Milwaukee, Brandon Jennings had his first career triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the Bucks' victory in their home opener.

D.J. Augustin scored 26 points and Stephen Jackson had 23 for Charlotte.

Hawks 99, Wizards 95

In Atlanta, Joe Johnson scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter as the Hawks remained unbeaten, winning their home opener.

Rookie John Wall led Washington with 28 points.

Nuggets 107, Rockets 94

In Houston, Al Harrington scored 28 points and Carmelo Anthony had 24 to help Denver ruin the Rockets' first home game.

Luis Scola scored 28 and Kevin Martin added 21 for the Rockets, who are 0-3 for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.

Trail Blazers 100, Knicks 95

In New York, Brandon Roy scored 29 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 as unbeaten Portland rallied to spoil the Knicks' home opener.

Wilson Chandler finished with 22 points and 16 rebounds for the Knicks, who made only one field goal after taking a 92-83 lead with 5:31 remaining.

Grizzlies 109, T-Wolves 89

In Memphis, O.J. Mayo scored 29 points as the Grizzlies finished with a franchise-record 22 steals in the victory.

Kings 107, Cavaliers 104

In Cleveland, Tyreke Evans scored 21 points as Sacramento rallied past the hosts.

Omri Casspi added 20 points for the Kings, who trailed by 16 in the first half.

Pacers 99, 76ers 86

In Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 22 points to lead the Pacers past Philadelphia in their home opener.



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