Chris Paul leads Hornets past Suns, Nash back in starting lineup

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Phoenix Suns small forward Grant Hill (33) slam dunks in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets in New Orleans, Wednesday, March 16, 2011. The Hornets won 100-95. (AP Photo) By Catherine Holland Phoenix Suns small forward Grant Hill (33) slam dunks in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets in New Orleans, Wednesday, March 16, 2011. The Hornets won 100-95. (AP Photo) By Catherine Holland

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Chris Paul had 26 points and nine assists, and the New Orleans Hornets extended the Phoenix Suns' losing streak to four games, 100-95 on Wednesday night.

Emeka Okafor had 16 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans. David West added 16 points, including an 18-foot jumper to give the Hornets a 95-88 lead with 29.5 seconds to go.

The Hornets led by as much as 19 in the third quarter but had to hold on against a Suns squad that made 14 3-pointers.

Phoenix was as close as 93-88 when Grant Hill rolled in a 14-footer with 3 minutes left, but New Orleans did not allow another basket until 21 seconds remained, when Jared Dudley hit his fifth 3.

He finished with 25 points.

Steve Nash returning as Suns face Hornets

Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash was back in the starting lineup Wednesday night against the New Orleans Hornets.

Nash missed two games with what team officials described as pelvic instability, but returned in time to play against Hornets All-Star guard Chris Paul.

Nash has started all 61 games in which he has appeared this season, averaging 15.7 points and 11.4 assists.

The Suns arrived in New Orleans on a three-game losing streak, with Nash having sat out losses against Orlando and Houston.