NEW ORLEANS David West and the New Orleans Hornets sure looked happy to be at home.
West had career playoff highs of 38 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots, lifting New Orleans to a 101-79 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night and a 3-2 series lead.
New Orleans looked impressive in winning the first two games at home but stumbled in San Antonio. Back in the Big Easy, the Hornets cruised again.
Chris Paul had 16 of his 22 points in the second half and added 14 assists for New Orleans, which has never advanced past the second round of the playoffs.
Manu Ginobili led San Antonio with 20 points and Tony Parker had 18. The Hornets held Tim Duncan to 10 points, though Duncan was a force on the glass with 23 rebounds.
Game 6 is Thursday in San Antonio, where the Spurs are 5-0 in the postseason.
Morris Peterson had 12 points for New Orleans on four 3-pointers, picking up the slack for Peja Stojakovic, who was guarded closely again.
Stojakovic still managed a crucial transition 3 in the fourth quarter, however, giving the Hornets an 81-68 lead with 7:05 to go.
San Antonio pulled to 85-77 on Ime Udoka's third 3-pointer, but Paul responded with a driving layup with 4:33 left and scored again on a pass from West to turn back the Spurs' rally.
Paul, who had six points in the first half, scored nine points and set up Chandler for an alley-oop dunk during a 20-4 Hornets run to open the third quarter. Peterson's 3 capped the surge, giving New Orleans a 64-51 lead.
While Stojakovic managed only nine points, he recognized who had the hot hand. His pass to the corner set up Peterson's fourth 3, which put the Hornets ahead 68-54. Paul then added two free throws, giving him 12 for the quarter, and West scored his 30th point of the game on a jumper over Parker, giving the Hornets a 72-58 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Duncan was held scoreless until early the second quarter, but the Spurs hit their first four 3s and six of their first eight. Ginobili's second 3 put San Antonio up 37-30.
West, who had 22 in the opening half, got New Orleans as close as 38-36 on a jumper late in the second quarter, then tied it at 43 when he put back a blocked fast-break layup.
The Spurs took a 47-44 lead into halftime after Parker got up from a hard foul and sank two free throws in the final seconds.