<
>
AT OKLAHOMA CITY OK
San AntonioSpursSA
19-5, 8-4 Away
76
Final
1234T
SA1918251476
NO2116232989
89
NO/Oklahoma CityHornetsNO
11-13, 6-5 Home

Paul one assist short of triple-double, outrebounds Duncan

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- P.J. Brown and his New Orleans Hornets
teammates wanted some respect. After getting involved in an
altercation earlier in the game, the 12th-year veteran helped them
earn it.

Brown also sparked the Hornets' decisive run in an 89-76 victory
over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.

"The young guys, they want to be on TV. They want respect,"
Brown said. "I said, `If you want respect, these are the type of
games you've got to win. You've got to come out and beat these
world champions and people are going to start opening up some
eyes."

Brown and the Hornets also held Tim Duncan to 11 points,
matching his season low, before a Ford Center-record crowd of
19,267.

David West scored 19 points and Chris Paul finished one assist
shy of his first career triple-double with 17 points and 12
rebounds for the Hornets, who returned to Oklahoma City after
playing their first game of the season in Baton Rouge, La., on
Friday.

"We're not going to back down," West said. "Our thing is just
to go out there, play our style of basketball and hope for the
best.

"We got some key rebounds, did a pretty decent job on Duncan
and when you do that, you're going to give yourself a chance to
win."

The Hornets, who had the second-worst record in the NBA last
season, aren't scheduled to play any games on national television.

"We've got to win a few more like this and maybe (NBA
commissioner) David Stern will get us on there," Brown said.

Michael Finley and Tony Parker scored 17 points apiece for the
Spurs, who had won three in a row without Manu Ginobili (sprained
foot), but by the smallest of margins. The Spurs' wins were by one
point, two points and in overtime.

"We're catching teams that are well-rested and well-prepared at
their house. They're some hot teams," Finley said. "They've been
playing great ball and unfortunately for us, our ball hasn't been
up to par."

Brown broke a 69-all tie and sparked a 10-0 run with a jumper
from the right elbow with 8:12 left in the game. Speedy Claxton
followed with a fast-break layup after Paul's steal, then Claxton
grabbed a steal of his own and raced downcourt for a layup. He hit
the ensuing free throw, and Paul followed with another three-point
play.

After converting his layup off an inbounds pass, Paul pumped his
fist and slapped a high-five with teammates on the Hornets bench.

Robert Horry's 3-pointer from the right wing pulled the
defending NBA champions within 79-74, but West responded with three
straight jumpers to ice the game.

Brown said the Hornets' confidence had been growing after wins
over Philadelphia, Phoenix and the Los Angeles Clippers, and this
was another positive step for a team that won only 18 games last
season.

"We believe in ourselves even more today," Brown said. "We
beat the defending world champions. We should be able to play with
anybody in the league, but we can't get satisfied and we can't
relax.

"We've got to keep improving and keep working."

The crowd -- 104 more than the Ford Center's capacity -- stood and
cheered as the final 30 seconds ran off the clock. The Hornets
opened a special section of seats in an upper-deck press box for
hockey games and set a new attendance record for any event at the
Ford Center.

An early confrontation between Brown and Finley helped get the
crowd fired up.

Feeling he had been fouled by Duncan on a shot block under the
basket, Brown stepped into Finley's path on his way back up the
court and was called for a flagrant foul.

Finley stepped toward Brown and pushed the ball into Brown's
chest as Horry approached. After the players were split up, Finley
followed Brown as he backed toward midcourt and the two continued
talking to each other.

"It was a physical game," Brown said. "I know everybody
thinks I'm like St. Nick or Santa Claus -- which I am -- but I get a
little heated, too. I'm human.

"Finley's a good guy. I wasn't trying to hurt him," Brown
added. "I'd never try to hurt nobody or be malicious. I try to
play the game hard. It was just one of those things. ... He just
happened to be the next guy with the ball. It could have been
anybody."

Brown, Finley, Horry and Desmond Mason were all called for
technical fouls, and Finley made both shots from the flagrant foul
to pull San Antonio within 35-33. Parker tied the game at 37 with
back-to-back baskets before halftime.

San Antonio made seven of its first eight shots to start the
second half and took a 53-46 on Parker's jumper from the right
side.

The Hornets responded by pushing the pace for a 9-1 spurt, with
Mason getting a three-point play off a fast-break dunk and Paul
adding a fast-break layup and two free throws to put New Orleans
ahead 55-54.

The Spurs scored seven straight points to go up 62-57 on Rasho
Nesterovic's jumper, but had their lead trimmed to 62-60 at the end
of the third quarter.

Game notes
Before the game, Ginobili was able to run up-and-down the
length of the court while being timed. ... Bruce Bowen started and
tied Avery Johnson's Spurs record by playing in his 296th straight
game. The streak started on Feb. 28, 2002. ... San Antonio fell to
10-2 against Western Conference opponents. ... New Orleans had lost
four in a row and seven of eight to San Antonio.

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