Hornets beat Suns to ruin home debut of Phoenix coach

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PHOENIX -- The New Orleans Hornets spoiled the home debut of Phoenis Suns coach Terry Porter.

Chris Paul had 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds and the Hornets held off a rally, then pulled away to beat Phoenix 108-95 last night.

The Hornets, who never trailed, improved to 2-0 on the heels of a season-opening victory at Golden State on Wednesday night.

Peja Stojakovic added 20 points before leaving the game with a sprained right ankle in the first few seconds of the fourth quarter.

The Hornets beat Phoenix for the fifth time in a row. They were 4-0 against the Suns last season.

Steve Nash had 24 points and nine assists, and Amare Stoudemire added 21 points and 12 rebounds for Phoenix.

The Suns committed 24 turnovers, resulting in 21 New Orleans points, after only 10 in their victory at San Antonio the previous night.

Down by as many as 16 in the first half and 15 in the third quarter, the Suns scored the first seven points of the fourth to cut the Hornets' lead to 81-76 on rookie Goran Dragic's 9-foot runner with 8:34 to play, his first NBA field goal.

Grant Hill's 17-footer as the shot clock approached zero cut it to 83-80 with 7:08 to play.

But James Posey sank a 3-pointer, Rasual Butler made another, then Posey hit one again to boost the Hornets' lead to 92-83 with 4:46 left.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)