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Pack likely to be signed for season

1/30/2003

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Robert Pack took full advantage of two 10-day
contracts with his hometown team.

Playing the last game of his second 10-day contract, Pack had 18
points and 11 assists as the New Orleans Hornets beat Toronto
104-83 on Wednesday night. Hornets coach Paul Silas said Pack was
sure to get an extension through the rest of the season.

On Thursday, the team announced the season-long contract had
been signed. Terms were not disclosed.

"I know I can shoot it and if guys leave me open like that I'm
going to make them pay,'' Pack said Wednesday.

He was starting his second game in place of Baron Davis, who had
knee surgery Tuesday and is expected to be out six weeks. Pack
exceeded Davis' averages in both points (17) and assists (seven).

In his 12th NBA season, Pack has been living in Dallas but said
he was thrilled to return to the league in his old hometown -- a
city that, before this season, hadn't had big-league basketball
since the Jazz left in 1979. Pack was in grammar school then.

"People here haven't seen me play since high school, so it's
great to be back in front of friends and family on a professional
level and let them see me play,'' Pack said.

The only Hornet who outscored Pack on Wednesday was fellow guard
David Wesley, who had 25 points, including four 3-pointers. P.J.
Brown added 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and Jamal Mashburn scored
11 for New Orleans, which snapped a two-game skid by beating
Toronto for the third straight time.

New Orleans also dominated the inside, outrebounding Toronto
52-33. The Hornets had 10 offensive boards for 19 second-chance
points.

Voshon Lenard, coming off the bench, led Toronto with 16 points.
Vince Carter, who returned from a strained knee to spark Toronto's
upset victory over Sacramento on Sunday, scored 13 points, but only
three in the second half, when coach Lenny Wilkens limited him to
12 minutes.

"I feel fine. I've just got to be productive in my minutes,''
Carter said. "It's hard when you get stiff, and then you get warm,
and then you get stiff again, and then they expect you to go out
there and do it right away. But that's not my decision.''

Wilkens said he has to limit Carter's minutes until he has
played a few more games.

"It's hard because he started off real good,'' Wilkens said.
"It's frustrating, I know.''

Rafer Alston scored 13 off the bench for the Raptors, while
Alvin Williams and Antonio Davis each scored 12. However, Williams
was held scoreless in the second half, during which Toronto hit
only 12 of 41 shots.

Pack shot 9-of-12 on a variety of driving layups and pull-up
jumpers and grabbed six rebounds. He also set up open shots for
teammates by driving hard to attract defenders and then passing
out.

Mashburn, who was double-teamed with Davis being out, said
Toronto might have been caught off-guard by Pack's aggressiveness.

"Sometimes in this league, people tend to forget about you --
they forget you can play,'' Mashburn said. "They leave people open
and allow them to do certain things they wouldn't allow Baron to
do.''

Pack agreed.

"I saw they we're going to double-team Mash ... and tonight I
just stepped up and shot the ball,'' Pack said.

Game notes

Alexander, recovering from a right groin injury, played for
the first time in eight games when he checked in at the end of the
first quarter. He finished with eight points in 24 minutes. ...
Hornets reserve C Elden Campbell was a late scratch with a strained
neck muscle.