Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/23

Game 1: Saturday, November 23rd
Game 2: Friday, March 7th
Game 3: Saturday, April 5th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 9th

Cavaliers 76

(11-51, 3-29 away)

Hornets 102

(36-27, 23-9 home)

    Coverage: COX

    7:30 PM ET, March 7, 2003

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

    1 2 3 4 T
    CLE 17 27 9 2376
    NO 31 30 18 23102

    Top Performers

    Cle: C. Boozer 16 Pts, 14 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

    NO: J. Mashburn 18 Pts, 8 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

    Hornets cruise to eighth straight victory

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Jamal Mashburn didn't think it was too early to start thinking about their next game -- even before the New Orleans Hornets had finished playing the downtrodden Cleveland Cavaliers.

     Jamal Mashburn

    Mashburn sought to use Sunday's Eastern Conference showdown against the New Jersey Nets as motivation, and it seemed to work as the Hornets cruised to a 102-76 victory over Cleveland on Friday night for their eighth straight victory.

    "I started telling the guys, prepare for Jersey. You don't want to have any carryover of sloppy play," Mashburn said. "It's all about maturity."

    Jamaal Magloire scored 20 points and Mashburn added 18 as New Orleans dealt Cleveland its fifth straight loss. Cleveland has now lost 11 of 12 games and 12 straight on the road.

    David Wesley, who finished with 17 points, gave New Orleans the lead for good just 1:53 into the game when he hit a pair of free throws to make the score 6-4. New Orleans led by more than 20 briefly in the first half, and pushed the lead to 86-56 when Magloire scored inside as he was fouled and hit the ensuing free throw with 10:08 to play.

    "We wanted to go out and definitely get that early start, turn the pressure up after halftime and push (the lead) as close to 30 as possible so this game would be over," Wesley said.

    Magloire was 8-of-9 from the foul line. Reserve guard Kenny Anderson added 12 points and seven assists. New Orleans' starters sat out much of the fourth quarter.

    New Orleans outrebounded Cleveland 51-45, marking the 16th game in a row that the Hornets matched or surpassed an opponent in that category.

    Much of New Orleans' recent success has been attributed to its rebounding dominance, which Hornets coach Paul Silas claims has stemmed from his midseason decision to start defensive specialist George Lynch at shooting guard.

    Lynch had 10 rebounds in the first half and finished with a season-high 12 to go with seven points. P.J. Brown had 10 rebounds for New Orleans.

    Carlos Boozer led Cleveland with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting. Jumaine Jones added 14 off the bench, while Ricky Davis and Zydrunas Ilgauskas each scored 10.

    Cleveland turned the ball over 23 times, leading to 16 points.

    Already trailing by 17 at halftime, Cleveland had as many turnovers (nine) as points in the third quarter, allowing New Orleans to shoot only 33 percent and still expand its lead to 79-53.

    "We're going to have those turnovers because we're an inexperienced basketball team and against a good team you're going to have those problems," Cleveland coach Keith Smart said.

    "This is a good team. Unfortunately right now they're not ready to make that jump against a really good basketball team. They're trying, but just like any young person, when things start to go bad they're going to drop their heads. That's going to happen every time until they grow out of that."

    Magloire had three dunks on his way to 10 first-quarter points, and New Orleans, shooting 50 percent to that point, led 31-17 at the end of one period.

    "My teammates got me the ball early," Magloire said. "I just felt if I kept aggressive and kept trying to dunk the ball I'd either make the shot or get fouled."

    When Jerome Moiso hit a pair of free throws, New Orleans led by 42-22 with more than seven minutes still left in the half.

    Cleveland hit seven shots in a row and was able to cut its deficit to 47-35 when Davis spun through the lane for a layup and then hit a 3, but Mashburn sandwiched a reverse layup and 3-pointer around Wesley's 17-foot jump shot and the Hornets led 61-44 at halftime.

    Game notes
    Smart said his trip to New Orleans brought back memories of his game-winning jump shot when Indiana beat Syracuse in the 1987 NCAA finals at the Louisiana Superdome. A Baton Rouge native, Smart said a number of relatives asked him for tickets to Friday night's game. "I still have some family and friends who are still upset about not getting tickets for the finals," Smart said. "They told me that they know they're getting tickets" to the Cavaliers-Hornets game. ... New Orleans' 61 points in the first half was a season-high.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 76 102
    FGM-FGA 31-80 (.388) 39-94 (.415)
    3PM-3PA 4-14 (.286) 3-14 (.214)
    FTM-FTA 10-14 (.714) 21-26 (.808)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-45 19-51
    Assists 16 30
    Turnovers 23 13
    Steals 6 12
    Blocks 12 7
    Fast Break Points 6 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 14 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    New Orleans
    Carlos Boozer Boozer
    Points: 16
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Jamal Mashburn Mashburn
    Points: 18
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0