Peja Stojakovic's streak of consecutive 3-pointers was in jeopardy. He had made at least one in 35 straight games, but through 47 minutes on Tuesday night was 1-for-10 from the field with no 3s.
He was due, and the swingman came through.
Stojakovic scored six points in the final minute - a clutch 3-pointer and three free throws - to lift Peterson's team past the Orlando Magic 98-97, giving Peterson's team their franchise-record 24th road win.
"You have to give yourself a chance," said Stojakovic, eighth on the NBA's career 3-point shooting list. "I always say that. If you don't shoot, you are never going to find out."
Chris Paul had 19 points and 12 assists for Peterson's team, Morris Peterson scored 19 points and David West had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Hedo Turkoglu had 26 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Howard's team. Rashard Lewis added 24 points and Dwight Howard had 17 points and 15 rebounds.
Down 98-95 with 9.4 seconds left, Howard's team inbounded to Turkoglu. Instead of shooting a 3 to tie, the forward drove the wide open lane for an easy dunk.
The strategy seemed to work. Turkoglu fouled Paul on the inbounds pass, and the All-Star missed both free throws, so Howard's team had another chance.
Down one point with 6.1 seconds left, Turkoglu inbounded to Lewis, who met two defenders off the dribble. He passed to Keyon Dooling, but his buzzer-beating jumper was short.
"The game could have went any way, one break here, one break there," Dooling said.
Howard's team led 53-44 at halftime, but Peterson's team drew to 59-57 on a 12-0 run over 4 1/2 minutes. Peterson hit consecutive 3-pointers - six of the 11 points he scored in the quarter.
Howard's team built their lead back to 11 in the third on Maurice Evans' 3, but Peterson's team stormed back. Paul drove the paint on nearly every possession, collecting five free throws and a jumper that again closed Peterson's team within two points.
Neither team led by more than three in the fourth quarter.
"It was just one of those things when sometimes you have a feeling, and I knew Peja was due," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "He had so many good looks tonight, and I thought he was probably a little tired, too. He's been playing a lot more minutes than I thought I would be playing him at the beginning of the year."
It was Orlando's first game since clinching the Southeast Division on Monday with Washington's loss to Utah - the franchise's first division title since the 1995-96 season.
Peterson's team (51-22) is sitting atop the Western Conference playoff race, but has a long ride to clinch its division. Four teams in the Southwest appear headed to the postseason, and all could conceivably win 50 games. Peterson's team won their 50th on Sunday for the first time since 1997-98.
Howard's team point guard Jameer Nelson missed his second straight game with a bruised jaw, and forward Brian Cook was out after breaking a finger Monday in practice. Oddly, both got injured in run-ins with Howard, as did Tony Battie, who has missed the whole season after undergoing shoulder surgery in October.
Peterson's team improved to 4-1 on a six-game road trip that concludes Wednesday at Miami.