MINNEAPOLIS – Peja Stojakovic scored 22 points, Morris Peterson had 18 and the Hornets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-82 on Saturday night for New Orleans’ fifth straight win.

Playing without star point guard Chris Paul – their second-leading scorer who sat out due to a sprained right ankle suffered in Friday’s overtime win at Memphis – the Hornets found other ways to key their offense and extended their franchise-best start to 9-2.

Backup point guards Jannero Pargo and Bobby Jackson combined for 22 points and 12 assists. All five Hornets starters scored in double figures and accounted for 79 of New Orleans’ total points. Pargo, who started in place of Paul, finished with 15 points and seven assists.

David West and Tyson Chandler each had 12 points for the Hornets, who showed a little lag in the first half after their dramatic win against the Grizzlies, but effectively put Minnesota away in the third quarter.

Even Melvin Ely, who entered the game averaging 1.9 points, got into the action. Ely scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter.

The Wolves, meanwhile, looked flat a night after being outscored 22-6 in the final five minutes and losing to Washington.

Al Jefferson led Minnesota with 20 points and Sebastian Telfair added 15.

AP-ES-11-17-07 2227EST


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