NEW ORLEANS, LA (WAFB) - A triple-double by Chris Paul, a solid game from Trevor Ariza and a big-time fade-away in the final seconds by Jarrett Jack lifted the New Orleans Hornets over the Los Angeles Lakers 93-88 Sunday night to tie the series 2-2.
It was one of the craziest games in Hornets playoff history. The nail-biter appeared to be slipping out of the Hornets' hands. However, Jack was able to deliver a dagger with 9.3 seconds left.
"Because he [Chris Paul] had been pretty much getting his shots off all quarter, I just saw a situation where I could cut to the basket and if need be, I'd be open," Jack said. "And, he just ended up throwing it to me and I got it off in just the nick of time."
It was his only field goal of the night. He finished the game with only five points, the exact point difference in the final score of the contest.
"I made a move, attacked and Jarrett Jack saved me," Paul said. "Because, I was probably about to take one of the worst shots I had taken all game."
CP3 had 27 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds. It was his first triple-double of the season and probably couldn't come at a better time.
"Trevor Ariza, I thought he set the tone for us from the beginning," explained head coach Monty Williams. "And, all of our guys stepped up tonight, just played a tough, tenacious game against the champs. And, in order for us to beat them, we're going to have to play like this all the time."
Ariza added a solid 19 points for the Hornets. Ariza was tasked with guarding Kobe Bryant and was able to hold him scoreless until the 9:30 mark in the third quarter. Bryant finished with 17 points.
"I just try to impact the game in other ways. If it's rebounding, if it's defending, if it's getting those guys open shots, because when those guys get going, it gets our whole team going," Paul added.
"He might be 6'0" and he's getting 13 rebounds," Ariza started. "Whoa Trev, I got on dress shoes today, too buddy," Paul interrupted. "He plays unbelievable. He's made our team go all year. He's carried us when we were down and he's here. Anything can happen now," Ariza finished.
If the Hornets can keep playing at such a high level, they may be able to steal Game 5 on Tuesday in Los Angeles.