SAN ANTONIO -- In the weeks leading up to his selection in the first round of the NBA draft, George Hill remembers watching the SAS win the final two games of the Western Conference semifinals over the New Orleans NOH.
But the SAS rookie could do little to keep the NOH from changing the outcome this time.
Reserve Mike James scored 18 points while Tyson Chandler added 14 on 7-of-9 shooting and New Orleans beat the SAS 89-84 in a preseason game Friday night.
The NOH (3-0) are off to their best preseason start since they went 4-0 in Charlotte in 1990.
The SAS were led by strong efforts in limited playing time from Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. Playing only the first half, Duncan scored 12 points in 18 minutes and Parker added 10 points in 15 minutes. Combined they were 9-of-16 from the field.
New Orleans trailed by two at halftime but it outscored the SAS (0-2) 12-2 to start the second half and took control of the game.
Chandler scored on three dunks off alley-oop or fast-break passes from Chris Paul during the run. Paul had seven assists to go with 4-of-7 shooting and finished with nine points.
Hill, selected 26th overall by the SAS, was assigned to guard Paul.
"Chris Paul is just one of the greatest point guards in the league today," Hill said. "He's quick and crafty with it and you have to respect his game, and that's one thing I do. You can't live in the fan world. It's a business now."
The NOH had the SAS outmanned to start the second half by playing starters Chandler, David West, Paul, Peja Stojakovic and Mo Peterson against a SAS lineup with rookies Darryl Watkins, Hill and Malik Hairston along with veteran reserves Matt Bonner and Roger Mason.
That lineup remained on the court until James Posey came in for West with New Orleans leading 65-60 with 1:03 left in the third quarter.
But even the NOH reserves managed to brush off the SAS. New Orleans led 77-64 when Devin Brown came off the bench and hit a 3-pointer with 7:13 left in the game.
But James was the highlight of the NOH' bench with 6-of-11 shooting. He was 3 of 4 from 3-point territory.
"I thought in the first half we had trouble getting into our steps and rhythm," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "But when the second half rolled around we seemed more aggressive. This team has a lot of confidence built up from last year."
Desmon Farmer added 11 points for San Antonio.