West scores 21 as Hornets knock off Sonics

SEATTLE (AP) -- David West scored 21 points in the latest in a
string of strong performances, and the New Orleans Hornets won
consecutive games for the second time this season with a 105-99
victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Saturday.

West had averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds in his previous
three games coming in. He was 7-of-12 from the field and grabbed
five rebounds against Seattle.

The Hornets had six players in double figures, including 17
points and 10 assists from rookie point guard Chris Paul. J.R.
Smith added 19 points, nine in the fourth quarter, while reserves
Speedy Claxton and Desmond Mason each had 14.

New Orleans, which beat Atlanta and Orlando last week for its
first two-game winning streak since 2003, defeated Minnesota on
Wednesday and has won four of its last five.

Rashard Lewis led six Seattle players in double figures with 21
points, but Seattle was outscored 34-12 at the free throw line.

Vladimir Radmanovic came off the bench to score 14, and Nick
Collison and Ronald Murray both scored 13. Luke Ridnour had 12.

The Hornets never trailed in the second half, despite a handful
of runs by the SuperSonics. Seattle got to 79-75 with 10:23 left on
a 3-pointer by Radmanovic, but West answered with a fallaway
3-pointer as the shot clock expired to put the Hornets back up by

Down 100-89 with less than 90 seconds left, Seattle made a
frantic final rally. Lewis made a 3-pointer, followed by jumpers
from Collison and Ridnour, pulling the SuperSonics within 100-96
with 38.5 left.

Paul made one of two free throws with 19.5 seconds left, and
Radmanovic missed a 3-pointer with 16.2 left, ending Seattle's
hopes. New Orleans broke a five-game losing streak to the
SuperSonics and handed Seattle its third straight loss.

Seattle's Ray Allen came into the game having scored 23 points
per game against the Hornets in his career, but struggled with foul
trouble. He sat the final 10 minutes of the first half after
picking up his third foul, and fouled out with 4:29 left trying to
chase down a rebound.

Allen finished with 15 points, matching his season-low.

Game notes
Hornets center Chris Andersen did not play for the second
consecutive game with a bruised back and sore right knee. ... Mason
received a warm ovation in his return to Seattle. Mason played 2
seasons in Seattle before being traded to Milwaukee. He was dealt
by the Hornets before the start of this season. ... The Hornets
wore their gold road uniforms for the first time this season.