Paul's theft came after a bad pass by Grizzlies forward Darko Milicic with 3:33 left in the first quarter. That gave Paul 105 straight games with a steal, pulling him even with Alvin Robertson's mark set between November 1985 and December 1986.
"I'm a huge history buff, especially of the NBA," Paul said after the Hornets' 91-84 victory. "Any time you can be mentioned in the history books of the NBA, it's a great accomplishment."
The stat crew initially gave the steal to David West, but reviewed the play before changing it to Paul.
Paul had five steals and leads the league with 2.8 per game. He'll have an opportunity to break the record Wednesday night at home when New Orleans faces the San Antonio Spurs, where Robertson played when he broke the record.
"It's very fitting," Paul said of playing the Spurs. "The crazy thing is, this is a crazy record. It might not happen again for a long time, but I'm honored to have the opportunity to break it."