Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hornets snap 21-game skid

NEW ORLEANS – The longest current winning streak in professional sports didn’t amount to a plate of red beans and rice to Avery Johnson.

“We haven’t played them in the regular season this year,” Johnson said before the Mavericks and Hornets tipped off. “That [streak] doesn’t mean anything. It’s 0-0 right now. That’s for you guys to talk about. They’re a much better team than they were in the past.”

Make the Mavs 0-1.

The Hornets aren’t the same group that went into Saturday night having lost 21 in a row in the series dating back to 1999. New Orleans suits up some impressive talent, starting with Chris Paul and David West. Even if the city hasn’t noticed – and judging by the attendance it hasn’t – the Hornets should be in the Western Conference playoff race all season.

Both the Mavs and Hornets were finishing off a back-to-back, having won in a different city the previous night. Intensity wasn’t an issue in this one, as the lead and momentum swung from one side to the other. Forty-eight minutes weren’t enough time to decide it.

Paul and the Hornets made the deciding push in overtime to grind out the 112-108 victory before a small but lively throng of 12,223 at New Orleans Arena.

“We were getting after it,” Johnson said. “We left everything on the floor. The game should never have gone into overtime.”

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