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Hornets rally late to sting Lakers

DAVID West and Chris Paul combined for 72 points to help the New Orleans Hornets sting the Los Angeles Lakers 116-105 on Tuesday, the visitors surging past the Western Conference leaders with a fourth-quarter rally.

West delivered a career-best equalling 40 points and Paul added 32 with 15 assists to end the Lakers' six-game winning streak while handing the home side just their second loss in 20 contests at Staples Center.

"We knew that we were going to have score a lot of points," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "But the last two games that we played them we stood around and allowed them to guard us. So tonight we had a lot more movement and guys were in attack mode early and we stayed that way for the entire game."

Trailing 94-99 with 8:31 remaining, the Hornets (21-10) found new life, outscoring the Lakers 22-6 to claim their fifth win in six games. West had 15 points in the run and finished with 11 rebounds.

Kobe Bryant scored 39 points for the Lakers (27-6), including 20 in the third quarter, but did not score in the final nine minutes.

"We felt pretty confident that we were able to somehow slow him down (and) make some other guys make plays," West said.

Only Derek Fisher's two three-pointers prevented the Lakers from being completely shut out during the Hornets' winning run.

"We were out of flow pretty much all night defensively," Bryant, who made six three-pointers, said. "We weren't able to corral them like we normally have the last few times we've played them. Everybody wants to talk about offense, defense is where you win or lose games."

In Charlotte, North Carolina, the Bobcats stunned Boston 114-106 in overtime to continue the Celtics' sudden slide in the NBA.

Beaten by their surprising nemesis for the second time in two seasons, the defending champions have quickly gone from unbeatable to vulnerable. After a team-record 19-game winning streak and an NBA-record 27-2 start, the Celtics lost for the fifth time in seven games, leaving battered, bruised and angry by coach Larry Brown's upstart Bobcats.

Paul Pierce scored 28 points, but had a key turnover in overtime. Ray Allen scored 20 points on 7-of-20 shooting for the Celtics.

Raymond Felton scored 25 points and rookie D.J. Augustin added 11 of his 20 points in overtime for Charlotte.

In Orlando, Florida, Hedo Turkoglu scored 22 points and Orlando held off a late scoring burst by Caron Butler to beat Washington 89-80.

Orlando center Dwight Howard had his league-leading 25th double-double, with 15 points and 16 rebounds. Jameer Nelson added 14 points for the Magic, who rebounded from their loss at Toronto on Sunday.

Butler had 29 points, all in the second half, and Antawn Jamison scored 13 for the recently energized Wizards, who fell to 0-3 against Orlando this season.

In Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala scored 28 points and reeling Philadelphia returned home from a dreadful road trip to beat Houston 104-96.

In other action, it was: Timberwolves 94, Grizzlies 87; Thunder 107, Knicks 99; Bulls 99, Kings 94; and Mavericks 107, Clippers 102.


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