Chandler's double-double lifts Hornets
Hornets 90, Timberwolves 83

By Darnell Mayberry Published: February 3, 2007
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/> So far, Chandler has welcomed the challenges.

"He's being a force in the paint,” said forward David West. "He's bothering the other guys' best player when it's a big. He's dealing with KG and Zach Randolph, all the major guys, but he's stepped up and been big for us.

"He's just growing. He's playing with a lot of confidence and he's working, I think that's the biggest thing. He's trying to get better and working to get better, and it's paid off for him.”

Chris Paul played better in his second game back from a sprained ankle that forced him to miss 17 consecutive games. The Hornets' point guard finished with 24 points, eight assists and four steals in 32 minutes. On Wednesday night, he scored just nine points with two assists in 28 minutes.

"I just felt a lot more comfortable tonight than I did the last game,” Paul said. "I think getting that game under my belt gave me a little bit more confidence in my ankle.”

Said Scott: "Tonight he was Chris Paul. The last game, he was just trying to find his way around. He looked completely comfortable out there tonight.

"I thought that it was going to take him a few games (to get back to normal) and it took him just one. Hopefully he will stay like this through the rest of the season.”

Meanwhile, the Hornets have to find a way to win on the road — and soon. They are just 1-11 in their past 12 road games.

"Obviously it's hard to go into somebody else's gym and win, but we've got to,” said West. "We're almost in a situation where we don't have a choice.”

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Box score
Hornets at Rockets
•When: 7:30 p.m.

•Where: Toyota Center

•Television: Cox 7

•Radio: KHBZ-FM 94.7

Probable starters

Hornets (20-25)
Pos Player Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
C Tyson Chandler 7-1 7.2 11.3 0.8
F David West 6-9 16.4 8.5 1.9
F Desmond Mason 6-5 13.8 5.3 1.7
G Devin Brown 6-5 12.7 5.2 3.6
G Chris Paul 6-0 18.1 4.3 8.7
Rockets (29-16)
C D Mutombo 7-1 3.4 6.8 0.2
F Juwan Howard 6-9 9.5 6.2 1.6
F Shane Battier 6-8 10.7 4.4 2.5
G Tracy McGrady 6-8 23.7 5.4 6.3
G Rafer Alston 6-2 13.9 3.4 5.4
(All stats through Thursday's games)

Player of the game
Hornets center Tyson Chandler scored 16 points with a game-high 18 rebounds in 38 minutes. Chandler made eight of nine shots and also blocked four shots while holding Minnesota forward Kevin Garnett to 17 points.

Play of the game
Chris Paul led a fastbreak and converted a three-point play to give the Hornets an 85-75 lead with 2:19 to play.

By Darnell Mayberry

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