NBA Summer League: Hornets 77, Bobcats 75

Sunday, July 13, 2008
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Realistically, no one pays much attention to wins and losses during summer league competition. Still, it was nice for the Hornets to crack the victory column Sunday, ending a eight-game losing streak in Las Vegas that dates back to 2006.

New Orleans went on a 6-0 run over the final two minutes of the game, turning a four-point deficit into a two-point win. Bobby Brown (game-high 20 points) drained the go-ahead basket on a pull-up jumper to put the Hornets (1-1) up two. New Orleans then forced a Charlotte miss and grabbed the defensive board just before the final buzzer.

Hilton Armstrong (14 points) made two key offensive plays during the game-closing surge. The UConn product drilled an open 15-footer from the foul line to make it 75-73, then threw down an alley-oop dunk in transition to tie the score. Armstrong tallied six points in the final quarter, including a nifty spinning post-up move that the coaching staff would love to see him utilize more frequently.

New Orleans dropped the final two games of its trip to Las Vegas in 2006 and went 0-5 in 2007. The Hornets are now 2-10 overall in summer league since ’06.

Other notes from Las Vegas:

• In his 20-point performance, the 6-foot-1 Brown used his impressive quickness to attack the Bobcats, making eight trips to the foul line. The all-time leading scorer at Cal State-Fullerton, Brown had his hands full at the other end against Charlotte lottery pick D.J. Augustin (15 points), who played well. Brown has been the early bright spot in summer league for the Hornets, averaging 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

• Julian Wright was again a stat-sheet stuffer, in more ways than one. The one-year veteran from Kansas finished with 11 points – including a couple resounding dunks – along with four rebounds, four assists, five steals, two blocks and six turnovers. He had 11 turnovers in Friday’s summer league opener.

• In his Hornets summer debut, Derrick Byars scored four key fourth-quarter points. Byars had played on the Orlando Magic’s summer team July 7-11 in Orlando. There are no restrictions on playing for more than one NBA team during summer competition. Last year, for example, guard Anthony Roberson played for the Hornets’ squad in Las Vegas and immediately traveled to Salt Lake City to play for the Spurs in the Rocky Mountain Revue.

• Adam Haluska struggled with his shooting touch, going 1-for-7. He tallied four points, all in the first quarter.

• The Hornets are back in action on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. (Central time) vs. the San Antonio Spurs. All of these games are available live online on NBA.com. The sixth and final game in Las Vegas, next Sunday vs. Portland, will be carried by NBA TV.