NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 6 (Ticker) --
The Big Easy got a little more
difficult for the Hornets, but some clutch free throw shooting
in overtime helped them remain undefeated in their new home.
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hit a key 3-pointer and Jamaal Magloire
made crucial foul shots as New Orleans edged the
Houston Rockets, 98-96.
Wesley made the Hornets' only basket of overtime with 3:02 left
for an 89-87 lead. Magloire went on to drain five free throws
and Mashburn four as New Orleans went 11-of-14 from the line in
the extra period.
Mashburn scored 25 points and Magloire finished with 16 and a
career-high 17 rebounds as the Charlotte transplants improved to
11-0 at home in 3-1 in overtime this season.
"I can't say enough about 'Cat' (Magloire)," Hornets coach Paul
Silas said. "He just took over at the end. Every rebound was
his, the weakside half, the free throws he made ... just huge."
had a season-high 29 points and 10 rebounds, Steve
scored 24 points and rookie Yao Ming
had 16 and 13
rebounds for Houston.
"We played hard, but we didn't play well," Rockets coach Rudy
Tomjanovich said. "We didn't make plays. They are a good
rebounding team and we beat them on the boards and did a pretty
good job, but we couldn't make plays. I don't know."
New Orleans led virtually the entire second half until Francis'
lay-in with 2:30 remaining in regulation forged an 80-80 tie.
hit a free throw and Mashburn followed with a
difficult fallaway for an 83-80 advantage. Francis and Magloire
each hit a free throw before Yao's follow shot with 26 seconds
left forced overtime.
"I thought the difference was our energy," Magloire said. "We
were a lot more consistent. We played hard for longer period of
time and we were focused."
New Orleans led, 95-90, with 16 seconds to go in overtime when
former Hornet Glen Rice
sank three free throws. Mashburn hit a
pair of free throws with 14 seconds left and Baron Davis
another to ice the victory.
Brown finished with nine points and 10 rebounds and Davis had 14
and nine assists for New Orleans, which shot 44 percent
(35-of-79) but missed 15-of-18 3-pointers.
"It was like a heavyweight fight, neither side would go down or
give up," Brown said. "They just kept coming at us. It was
another great night at home with an overtime win."
Yao, who averages less than six shots a game, had eight points
in the first quarter on 4-of-10 shooting. He sat the entire
second quarter and was held in check by veteran center Elden
in the second half.
"He's very big, he's long," Magliore said. "He's going to be
"I think that one of my problems was before the game I made them
out to be a big, physical team that was going to push me around
a lot," Yao said through an interpreter. "So when they came at
me defensively, I might have had a bit of a mental block."
Houston held a 46-44 lead at halftime, largely due to Thomas'
play in the second quarter. The veteran forward scored 16
points in the quarter, including the Rockets' final eight points
of the half.
"I just come out and try to play the game of basketball, which
is my job," Thomas said.
New Orleans stormed back with 68 percent ( 13-for-19) shooting
in the third quarter, scoring 15 of the first 21 points to take
a 59-52 advantage on Davis' layup with 7:19 remaining.