Chris Paul had 33 points and 15 assists, and the New Orleans Hornets became the first Western Conference team to clinch a playoff berth by beating the New York Knicks 118-110 on Friday night. Jamal Crawford had 29 points for the Knicks, who have lost 17 of 19 but stayed competitive into the fourth quarter.
The Hornets trailed 95-91 with 10:20 left before putting away the game with a 26-9 run, getting 12 points from Peja Stojakovic during that spurt. Stojakovic finished with 22 points and David West added 17 for the Hornets, who won their 10th in a row at home. They were coming off a season-high, six-game road trip in which they went 5-1.