CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 14 (Ticker) --
Rookie Emeka Okafor
posted his 11th straight double-double and hit two free throws
with 5.7 seconds left in overtime to give the Charlotte Bobcats
a 94-93 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.
It was the Hornets' first appearance in their original home since moving to New Orleans two seasons ago.
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Okafor, who entered the game shooting just 57 percent (32-of-56)
from the foul line this season, made 6-of-8 free throws.
"He's the second pick," Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace
better make both of them. I wasn't worried (about him). I was
worried about how we were going to defend."
, who scored 18 of his career-high 22 points in
the second half and overtime, had given New
Orleans a 93-92 lead on a 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining. But after
Okafor's free throws, he missed a shot at the buzzer.
"In the second half, it seemed like (Harrington) had some
confidence going for us," Hornets coach Byron Scott
played well for us and hit some big shots."
Okafor scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and has the most
consecutive double-doubles by a rookie since Shaquille O'Neal
collected 15 straight in 1992-1993.
Wallace had 17 points and 11 rebounds while Keith Bogans
11 points and Jason Kapono
10 for the Bobcats, who ended a
four-game slide. They improved to 2-3 in games decided by three
points or less and 1-2 in overtime.
"It feels good," Bobcats guard Jason Hart
said. "This was our
first close victory this year. It feels good to be able to
sustain our momentum. They hit some shots and made some good
plays. But we were able to match that fire and stay with them."
New Orleans is now 1-19 on the season after its 11th straight defeat.
"It's been a tough season," Hornets center P.J. Brown
didn't really matter where we played. Whether it was Charlotte
or any other team, we just needed a win."
"I'd love to plug the fact that we're back in Charlotte," New
Orleans guard David Wesley
said. "But it's just about wins for
us. We could be playing in another country and it wouldn't
matter. We just want to win, to beat somebody."
The Hornets tied the second-longest losing streak in franchise
history and is one shy of the all-time mark set Jan.
19-Feb. 14, 1990.
"We just want to win," Wesley said. "I don't know if we are
having bad luck or just not executing down the stretch.
Nevertheless, we are still losing games."
Wesley and Brown, two former Charlotte Hornets, combined for 40
points in their return. Wesley scored a season-high 23 points,
including a jumper with 45 seconds left in overtime that tied
the contest, 90-90.
"There was a lot of love here," Wesley said. "It was real nice,
the fans that you remember, the faces you remember. You give
them a nod or smile. It was nice to see those people, but still
The Hornets made just three shots in the fourth quarter and were
outrebounded 49-39, including a 20-10 deficit on the offensive
"They beat us with second-chance points," Wesley said. "I don't
know how they rebound against other teams. But they
outrebounded us. That's the bottom line."
The Bobcats improved to 5-14 with four consecutive home wins and
are over .500 at home (5-4) for the first time.
"We needed it badly," Okafor said. "It was good to get this win
coming off the (winless) road trip."