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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Back in Bayou, Paul, Clips fall

AP

NEW ORLEANS — Chris Kaman scored 20 points and the Hornets rallied for a 97-90 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, spoiling Chris Paul's return to New Orleans.

News photo
Battle of the big men: Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge backs down Memphis' Zach Randolph in the first quarter on Thursday night. The Blazers beat the Grizzlies 97-93. AP

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.

Jarrett Jack and Jason Smith each scored 17 as New Orleans snapped a five-game home losing streak.

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 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."

Blazers 97, Grizzlies 93

In Portland, Nicolas Batum had 24 points and the new-look Trail Blazers held off Memphis.

Jamal Crawford had 17 points, including four clutch free throws in the final seconds for Portland, which snapped a two-game skid to even to 2-2 under interim head coach Kaleb Canales.

Marc Gasol's layup narrowed it to 91-88 with 2:15 to go. Neither side could get a shot to fall as time wound down, but Wesley Matthews made free throws for Portland before Mike Conley's 3-pointer kept the Grizzlies close at 93-91.

Memphis saw the debut of Gilbert Arenas, who was signed Tuesday for the rest of the season. The 30-year-old guard has not played since finishing last season with the Orlando Magic.

He came in with 1:23 left in the first quarter, and finished with two points and two assists in 11 minutes.

Celtics 100, Bucks 91

In Milwaukee, Paul Pierce scored 25 points to help Boston snap the Bucks' six-game winning streak.

Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Mickael Pietrus scored 13 points for the Celtics, who were playing their seventh game on an eight-game road trip. With Thursday's win, Boston improved to 4-3 on the trip.

Brandon Jennings had 19 points for Milwaukee.

Motan Ellis scored 13 points on 6-for-18 shooting in his home debut for the Bucks.

Rockets 109, Warriors 83

In Houston, Goran Dragic had 17 points and nine assists, rookie Chandler Parsons had 20 points and a career-high 11 rebounds to lead the Rockets.

Luis Scola scored 18 and Samuel Dalembert added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Houston.

Richard Jefferson scored 14 points and David Lee added 12 for the Warriors, who've lost five of their last six games.

Former Tokyo Apache post player Jeremy Tyler made his second straight start (second overall) for Golden State, finishing with four rebounds and zero points in 12:23.

Pacers 85, Wizards 83

In Washington, David West grabbed three offensive rebounds in the final 70 seconds, Darren Collison made a key steal of an inbounds pass, and Paul George's 3-pointer with 1:01 to play gave Indiana its their first lead of the game, completing a 22-point comeback.

Jazz 103, Kings 102

In Sacramento, Al Jefferson's basket with 0.9 seconds remaining lifted Utah to a win over the Kings and helped the Jazz avoid what would have been a costly loss after they blew a 14-point second-half lead



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