Paul to practice full-time TuesdayHornets coach Byron Scott said Saturday that injured point guard Chris Paul would return to practice full-time on Tuesday. Paul has been out with a Grade 3 (severe) right ankle sprain since Dec. 26 and has missed 16 games. Scott still refuses to guess when Paul will return to game action. Paul was expected to miss 4-7 weeks with the injury. Tuesday will be the five-week mark. "The thing that's crazy with him is every shoot-around (on game day), he wants to go 5-on-5,” Scott said. "He is so eager to get back on the court and just try it. I think that's the biggest thing.” Scott said trainer Terry Kofler gave Paul clearance for Tuesday's return. "I said, ‘What? Don't you think that might be a little too soon?' ” Scott said. "But Terry said, ‘Chris has done everything we've asked him to do, and he looks good doing it, so the next step is a practice.' We'll practice Tuesday and practice Thursday. I already know what (Paul's) mindset is. It'll be a good test for him.” Paul is averaging a team-leading 18.4 points and 9.0 assists to go with 4.4 rebounds in 27 games this season. •Shinn sighting: Hornets owner George Shinn on Saturday night attended his first game at the Ford Center since Dec. 22, sitting courtside with his wife, Denise. One night earlier, Shinn sat courtside for the Hornets' game against the Sacramento Kings inside New Orleans Arena. •Sticking it to Sloan: Guard Devin Brown had a little extra incentive to help the Hornets win on Saturday night against the Utah Jazz. Brown played 81 games last season with the Jazz, but he was unhappy with how much playing time he received from coach Jerry Sloan. Brown averaged 7.5 points in 21.1 minutes before being dealt to the Golden State Warriors in the offseason. •Art review: Before Saturday night's game, Hornets forward Desmond Mason viewed paintings prepared by classes from Mark Twain Elementary School. Participating students were given the "Bringing Creativity Home” art set to create 30 unique murals. Their works of art were displayed on the concourse of the Ford Center outside section 102. •All-Star selection: Scott struggled to recall who he voted for on his coach's ballot for next month's All-Star Game in Las Vegas. Fans chose the starters, and coaches will determine the seven reserves from the East and West squads.Coaches can not vote for their own players. Scott said the Western Conference players he voted for included Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion of Phoenix, Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas, Carlos Boozer of Utah and Allen Iverson of Denver. •Turning the tables: The Utah Jazz came to Oklahoma City with the NBA's fourth best record at 29-15, good for first place in the Northwest Division. But things quickly went downhill when they ran into the injury-plagued Hornets. Less than four minutes into the game, Utah's leading scorer, Carlos Boozer, bumped knees with Tyson Chandler and was taken out of the game. With 10:30 left to play in the first half, the Jazz lost center Jarron Collins when he required stitches in his upper lip. Collins returned late in third quarter, but Boozer did not. •All-Star ballot winner: Gerod Kersey, a 22-year-old Edmond resident, won the Hornets' All-Star ballot competition by filling out 5,717 ballots. As part of the grand prize, Kersey received a personalized Hornets jersey and a pregame locker room tour. By John Rohde and Darnell Mayberry
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Tyson Chandler shoots for two of his eight points in the Hornets' 94-83 victory against Utah on Saturday. BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN