SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - The New Orleans Hornets beat Southwest division rivals San Antonio 99-90 on Saturday to improve to 3-0 on the young NBA season.
The Hornets, who had built a 78-60 lead early in the fourth quarter, had to weather a furious rally by the Spurs that reduced the deficit to just three points with a little over two minutes remaining before the Hornets scored the final six points.
“It is gratifying to come in here and get a win,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said. “Any road win is big.
“At the same time, we have a lot to improve on.
“Our locker room is coming together because they are starting to understand the importance of defense.”
Chris Paul led the Hornets with 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Manu Ginobili was the top scorer for San Antonio with 23 points and Richard Jefferson added 18 points including 10 in the fourth quarter rally.
David West added 18 points for the Hornets and Marcus Thornton scored 17 points in more than 30 minutes off the bench.
New Orleans rallied from a seven point first-quarter deficit to take a one point lead at halftime and added to the lead with a dominant third quarter when they outscored the Spurs 33-18.
San Antonio shot just 39 percent from the field and were six of 26 from three point range.
Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; Editing by Greg Stutchbury