NEW ORLEANS, April 24 (Ticker) -- It didn't matter how the New Orleans Hornets won, as long as they won.

Baron Davis 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.

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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.
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"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 season."

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."