NEW ORLEANS, March 2 (Ticker) --
and the New Orleans Hornets
took advantage of a golden opportunity to snap their losing
Nailon scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half and Dan Dickau
added 18 as the Hornets snapped a four-game skid with a
94-85 victory over the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, who fell to
2-25 on the road.
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The Hornets never trailed after Chris Andersen's
play gave them a 19-16 edge with 4:04 left in the first quarter,
but Charlotte did forge a 55-55 tie on Brevin Knight's
midway through the third period.
Nailon and Dickau scored six points apiece in a 15-9 spurt that
gave the Hornets a 70-64 lead with 1:15 remaining in the
Charlotte cut the deficit to one point four times in the final
period, but New Orleans made a basket on the other end each time
to preserve its advantage.
"They only shot 39 percent, but they made open shots," Charlotte
coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "When the game was on the line,
they made it. Nailon, Dickau and P.J. (Brown) all made big
After Knight made it 83-82 with 2:41 to play, Brown responded
with a jumper to ignite an 8-1 run that all but sealed the
victory. Hornets rookie Jackson Vroman
, who recorded his first
career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds, capped the
burst with a layup with 37 seconds left to push the lead to
"I missed a couple of easy ones tonight," said Vroman, who
averaged 8.7 points and nine rebounds in starting the past three
games. "I need to work on that finishing. I almost had some
problems with (the last basket). It got in there. It was a
Brown had 12 points and 15 rebounds - his second double-double
in three nights and his team-best 22nd of the season - for the
Hornets (12-45), who held a 51-43 advantage on the boards.
"I've still got that firm mind," said Brown, a 12-year veteran.
"We're not going to the playoffs, but I want to keep improving
and help these guys continue to get better and work on their
games. Especially little things, like hustle and effort.
I tell them that everything's not about scoring. You can help
the team win in other areas. If you do that, there's a place
for you in this league."
Rookie J.R. Smith
scored all but one of his 17 points in the
first half and reached double figures for the ninth time in 10
"I'm thankful that they've stayed with me and let me learn on
the job," said Smith, the Western Conference Rookie of the Month
in January and February. "My mom really wanted me to get 30.
Unfortunately, it didn't happen. I was going hard for her. It
would have been a great thing to get it for her, but we still
won the game."
Rookie Emeka Okafor
scored 18 points for the Bobcats (12-43),
who failed to record their second winning streak of the season.
"We fought hard. We really, really fought," said Okafor, who
had 13 points in the second half. "We were there at the very
end, but we just couldn't make it happen.
"We haven't given up. We haven't accepted losing. You've got
to try to keep your mind fresh this time of year and focus."
Knight scored 16 and Primoz Brezec
grabbed 12 rebounds for
Charlotte, which stayed close by scoring 23 points off 17 New
"What can I say?" Brezec said. "We came here hoping to get two
wins in a row but couldn't get it done."