NEW ORLEANS, April 24 (Ticker) --
It didn't matter how the New Orleans Hornets won, as long as they won.
scored 21 points and David Wesley
added 18 as the
Hornets overcame another sluggish offensive effort to defeat the
Miami Heat, 77-71, in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.
NBA TV highlights from|
The Hornets shot just 24 percent from the field in Wednesday
night's embarrassing 93-63 road loss, which put them in a 2-0
hole in the series. They shot just 35.5 percent (27-of-76) in this one.
Baron Davis and the Hornets notched their first win of the series on Saturday.|
Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images
"I thought it resembled Game 1," New Orleans coach Tim Floyd
said. "We were very aggressive and really played off of each
other defensively. Everybody was covering for each other. Our
blitzes were really aggressive. But probably the best thing we
did was get back and gave ourselves an opportunity to take away
their easy baskets."
New Orleans held the Heat to 33 percent (25-of-76) shooting from
the field and forced 17 turnovers to get back in the series.
The Heat scored just 29 points in the first half, matching a
team playoff record low.
"We had a lot of trouble handling their intensity and pressure
when they got into us," Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We
turned the ball over a lot, especially with Lamar (Odom). I
thought their guards dominated the game."
The Hornets took control with a 13-2 run, opening a 41-26 lead
late in the second quarter. Davis had seven points and two
assists during the burst.
"The key tonight was the fact that we forced them into a lot of
turnovers and we didn't turn the ball over over ourselves. And
limiting their fast breaks allowed us to get out there and do
some running," Davis said. "The only way we can be effective in
the series is to get out here and push the tempo and get out
and play the style of basketball that we have been playing all
The Heat outscored the Hornets in each of the final two periods
and closed within two points numerous times in the fourth
quarter. But New Orleans held on down the stretch.
"In the second half, we adjusted pretty well, but we dug
ourselves such a big hole," Van Gundy said. "We kept fighting
to get back and couldn't get over the hump, and that was the
story of the game."
"We showed a lot of heart by fighting and everybody trying to
come in here and get one, but we are still up, 2-1," said Caron Butler
, who led the Heat with 24 points and 15 rebounds. "They
played a great game and got their win, but we were right in
there to win it."
After Butler made a pair of free throws to pull Miami within
73-71 with 1:47 to play, Jamaal Magloire
grabbed an offensive
rebound and was fouled by Odom. Magloire made both free throws
for a 75-71 lead with 55 seconds left.
Magloire also blocked a shot by Butler with 14 seconds left to
seal the win.
"We all felt bad about the last two (games)," Magloire said. "We
needed to come out here and redeem ourselves. When I'm given
the opportunity to do something, especially defensively, like
blocking a shot, that's just my job."
Magloire finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. George Lynch
and P.J. Brown
combined for 15 points and 22 boards for
New Orleans, which was beaten on the glass, 48-42.
Seeking their first playoff series win since moving to New
Orleans last year, the Hornets host Game 4 of the
best-of-seven set Tuesday night.
"We haven't scored a whole lot of points in this series," Wesley
said. "It's been pretty knock down and drag out. Expect a lot
more of that, a lot of ugly basketball."