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Hornets embrace underdog role against Lakers; Chris Paul to play despite injury

April 24, 2011 |  6:20 pm

Lk6z5ync New Orleans Coach Monty Williams told the media before Sunday's Game 4 against the Lakers that he showed his team a video that he hoped would inspire the Hornets, who trail, 2-1, in the best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series.

Williams also said that Chris Paul jammed his left thumb Friday night in Game 3, but that would not stop the All-Star guard from playing.

During a video session at practice Saturday, Williams showed his team a clip called "Battle at Kruger National Park."

Williams said it was about a small buffalo getting taken away by some lions. A group of crocodiles battle the lions for the buffalo. Then a herd of buffalo come back and take it to the lions.

Williams said the idea was to tell his team, "Don't give up."

Williams said Paul wasn't sure when he got injured during Game 3.

Paul did score 18 points on eight-for-10 shooting in the first half and just four points on one-for-three shooting in the second half.

Williams pulled Paul out late in Game 3 to make sure the guard didn't get hurt any more.

"He looked OK yesterday in our practice," Williams said. "We were thankful that it wasn't the wrist, it wasn't in the joint."

Williams also said that Lakers big men Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are breaking rules and getting away with it.

"They're in the paint more than three seconds," Williams said. "You can put that on record. It's embarrassing."

Williams said the Hornets have had "communication" with the NBA about it.

"They looked at it," Williams said. "They agreed on some and some they haven't. They were pretty gracious about it. But again, that's not the game."

-- Broderick Turner, reporting from New Orleans

Photo: New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul. Credit: Derick E. Hingle / US Presswire