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Paul has triple-double, Stojakovic hits six 3-pointers in Hornets' victory

NEW ORLEANS -- Chris Paul stole the ball and rocketed the other way, spinning a one-handed floater off the glass as he was fouled, then slapping the padding under the basket with both hands in celebration.

"He's amazing," Hornets forward Peja Stojakovic said. "He does so many things for this ballclub and he's getting better and better."

Paul had 27 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds and seven steals for his league-leading fifth triple-double of the season, and the New Orleans Hornets defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 101-86 on Monday night.

Penetrating adeptly into crowds of defenders inside, Paul hit several tough, off-balance baskets while being fouled, once while falling onto his back in the lane and another time while stumbling away from the hoop after taking a knee to the groin by Sixers center Samuel Dalembert.

It was the second time this season Paul came within a few steals of a quadruple double, but when asked about that, he could only critique the few times he mishandled the ball or unloaded an errant pass.

"A couple more turnovers and I would have had whatever you call five," Paul said.

That would be a quintuple-double, but Paul wasn't really that close to double-digit turnovers. He had four.

The Sixers still might have had a chance if Paul had been a one-man show, but he had help, from Stojakovic, who highlighted a 26-point performance with six 3-pointers.

New Orleans, badly outscored inside while missing center Tyson Chandler (ankle) and David West (back), made up for it with 14 3s as a team.

"We've got so many shooters, and when they're making shots like that, we're tough to beat," Paul said. "We see that from Peja all the time. When he gets hot like that, it's lights out for teams."

James Posey and Rasual Butler had 13 points apiece, including three 3-pointers each for the Hornets.

Thaddeus Young had 22 points and Andre Miller 19 for the Sixers, who lost for only the second time in their past 10 games. Andre Iguodala scored 17 points for Philadelphia, and Louis Williams added 11 points.

"We did some good things during the game. We just couldn't get any breaks," Iguodala said. "[Stojakovic] made some clutch shots. He's a great shooter. He got some good shots on fast breaks. [Paul] is a great point guard. We just couldn't stop him."

Posey's 3 gave New Orleans a 69-63 lead after three quarters. Stojakovic then hit a pair of quick 3s to open the fourth, capping a 9-0 run. Stojakovic wasn't finished, sending the crowd into a frenzy while hitting his next three 3-point shots as he accounted for New Orleans' first 15 points of the quarter.

The last one gave the Hornets an 84-68 lead, but the Sixers responded with seven straight points, ending with Young's jumper, before Antonio Daniels ended the surge with the Hornets' sixth 3 of the quarter.

Williams' offensive rebound and putback began a 7-2 Sixers run that included Young's floater and Miller's fast-break layup, cutting it to 89-82 with 2:43 to go.

New Orleans called timeout, then Paul drained a soft jumper from the top of the key and Posey added another 3 to all but seal it.

Paul -- recently selected to his second All-Star team in his fourth season -- hit double figures in points and assists in the third quarter. He got his 10th rebound in the final minute of the game, delighting the crowd.

"His maturity is something that sometimes really surprises me," Stojakovic said. "They way he finishes games, the way he puts us in different spots on the court and talks to us -- for his age, it's something unbelievable."

The Sixers led most of the first half, pulling ahead 21-20 on Iguodala's acrobatic reverse layup late in the first quarter. A 10-2 run highlighted by Dalembert's dunk and Iguodala's alley-oop jam from Miller helped the 76ers to take their largest lead at 44-34.

Paul, who had 10 points and eight assists in the first half, responded with a 3 and Posey hit another, helping New Orleans cut its deficit to 47-40 at halftime.

The Hornets then opened the second half with consecutive 3s by Stojakovic and Butler, igniting a 10-0 run for a 50-47 lead early in the third quarter and trailed only once more, very briefly, after that.

Game notes
Elton Brand played 18:26 in his second straight game back from a dislocated shoulder but failed to score on 0-for-3 shooting. ... The Sixers shot 54 percent and outrebounded New Orleans 37-32. ... Dalembert had 12 rebounds. ... Stojakovic started 1-of-5 on 3s and had nine points through the first three quarters. New Orleans is 23-7 when Stojakovic scores in double digits, 4-7 when he doesn't.