Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/2

Game 1: Saturday, November 2nd
Heat95Final
Hornets100
Game 2: Tuesday, February 11th
Hornets78Final
Heat69
Game 3: Wednesday, February 26th
Heat82Final
Hornets91
Game 4: Friday, March 14th
Hornets87Final
Heat83

Heat 82

(19-38, 7-23 away)

Hornets 91

(32-27, 22-9 home)

    Coverage: COX

    7:30 PM ET, February 26, 2003

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIA 16 26 17 2382
    NO 20 20 27 2491

    Top Performers

    Mia: B. Grant 24 Pts, 15 Reb, 2 Ast

    NO: J. Mashburn 18 Pts, 13 Reb, 13 Ast

    Mashburn doing it all for Hornets

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Jamal Mashburn let up on his torrid scoring pace and found other ways to punish the Miami Heat.

    Jamal Mashburn
    Mashburn

    Mashburn had 18 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists as the New Orleans Hornets defeated Miami 91-82 on Wednesday night for the Hornets' fourth straight victory and fifth in six games.

    "I prided myself when I came to this league on being a versatile player,'' said Mashburn, who had scored at least 20 in his previous five games. "I can score a lot of points -- that doesn't bother me -- but there's just as much satisfaction in passing the ball as scoring all those points. I've learned over the years how to play the NBA game and it's coming a lot easier.''

    New Orleans took the lead for good with a 13-2 third-quarter run that began when Mashburn scored inside and ended when he hit a turnaround jumper. Mashburn also had four assists and five rebounds in the quarter to secure his second-career triple double and the first this year by a Hornets player.

    Miami got as close as 82-78 with about three minutes left on a 7-0 run in which Eddie Jones sandwiched a 3-pointer between four free throws by Brian Grant. But George Lynch responded with a 3-pointer from the right wing and David Wesley followed with a driving layup to the lead to 87-78 with 2:12 left. Miami did not threaten again.

    Mashburn, averaging nearly 22 points, has managed to elevate his game since playing in his first All-Star game earlier this month. Prior to his exploits against Miami, Mashburn had won the Hornets' last two games on last-second shots -- one of which capped a 50-point performance against Memphis and the other finishing a 29-point night at Detroit.

    "This is probably the best I've seen him play,'' said P.J. Brown, who played more than three season with Mashburn in Miami before the two came to the Hornets in a trade before the 2000-2001 season. "I just think being an All-Star, being around those guys and seeing what they can do, I think he says to himself he belongs. He's a bona fide superstar and right now he's playing like it.''

    Grant scored a season-high 24 and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead Miami, which has lost five of six. Travis Best added 17 and Jones, who turned his ankle early but stayed in the game, finished with 14 but shot only 4-of-17 after hitting 50 percent of his shots or better in his previous five games.

    The Heat also were missing rookie Caron Butler, their second-leading scorer, who has now missed three games with the flu.

    "We're tired, we're beat up and we're a little short-handed right now,'' Heat coach Pat Riley said. "Eddie and Brian are just trying to grind it out. We made a little bit of a comeback, but then Lynch made a big shot and really broke our back.''

    Jamaal Magloire had 14 points and 14 rebounds for New Orleans, while P.J. Brown scored 16 points. Reserve guard Courtney Alexander, who missed four game games with a strained groin, returned by hitting three of his first four shots and finished with 13. Wesley added 12 points.

    Grant hit several short baseline jumpers en route to 12 points through the first two quarters, while Stepania came off the bench to add eight points on a dunk and three layups, two of which came on follows of missed shots, as Miami took a 42-40 halftime lead.

    Mashburn and Wesley, who combined for 141 points in the Hornets past two games, started a combined 3-for-13 from the field. But Magloire scored 12 first-half points by hitting his first five shots and a pair of free throws.

    Game notes


    Rookie Rasual Butler started in Caron Butler's place. He two points on 1-for-10 shooting, but also held Mashburn to his lowest scoring total in five games. ... Kenny Anderson's first basket of the game, a short pull-up jumper off the glass, were his first points with New Orleans. Anderson, acquired from Seattle for Elden Campbell, made his Hornets debut Saturday at Detroit but did not score. He finished with eight points Wednesday night. ... New Orleans improved to 12-11 without guard Baron Davis, who is expected to return next month. ... The Hornets reserves, who had scored 13 points in the previous two games combined, had 25 points against the Heat.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    MIA
    NO
    Points 82 91
    FGM-FGA 31-79 (.392) 38-83 (.458)
    3PM-3PA 2-13 (.154) 2-10 (.200)
    FTM-FTA 18-22 (.818) 13-16 (.813)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-42 14-47
    Assists 16 29
    Turnovers 11 12
    Steals 5 6
    Blocks 6 5
    Fast Break Points 4 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 20 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Miami
    New Orleans
    Brian Grant Grant
    Points: 24
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Jamal Mashburn Mashburn
    Points: 18
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 13
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0