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Mashburn, Davis too much for Houston's offensive exploits

3/20/2003

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The New Orleans Hornets didn't let Allan
Houston go on another one of his scoring binges.

Jamal Mashburn scored 25 and Baron Davis added 23 in his first
start in nearly two months as the New Orleans Hornets dominated the
inside and stopped Houston when it counted, defeating the New York
Knicks 101-96 Wednesday night.

Houston, who had 50 and 36 points in his previous two games, led
all scorers with 29 points but was only 2-for-7 in the final period
for four points.

"I thought the key tonight, considering we played last night
(in San Antonio) is that we didn't have the lift we normally have
on our shots,'' Knicks coach Don Chaney said. "I thought fatigue
set in a little bit.

"I thought the effort was there except for the fact they were
big on the boards and we didn't do a good job of keeping them off
the boards on a consistent basis,'' Chaney said. "The only chance
you have against this team is you've got to outrebound them.''

New Orleans had 18 offensive rebounds and outrebounded New York
45-33 overall, while outscoring the Knicks 42-24 from inside.

"We had success getting the ball inside and wanted to establish
that early,'' said P.J. Brown, who had 10 points and eight
rebounds. "We did a great job on the offensive glass getting
second opportunities, and when you get a team that really can't
match up with you size-wise I think it deflates them, and I think
it took its toll as the game went on.''

Mashburn finished off his scoring with a crucial fadeaway jumper
with two minutes left that gave New Orleans 96-89 lead. He also had
eight rebounds and eight assists to help overcome the absence of
David Wesley (bruised foot).

Davis' 3-pointer with 5:40 left started a 7-2 run after New York
pulled to 84-83 on a jumper by Michael Doleac.

"I was going to the hole, then I squared my body up. I knew it
was going in,'' Davis said. "It was a 3 we needed. It gave us some
control.''

The victory moved New Orleans ahead of Boston and into fifth in
the East, while New York dropped three games behind eighth-place
Milwaukee.

Jamaal Magloire had 17 points and eight rebounds for New
Orleans.

Davis struggled with his shooting early on but kept going to the
basket and was 9-for-12 from the foul line.

"Baron was aggressive tonight and that was a big key for us,
especially with David out,'' Mashburn said. "We're getting into a
rhythm where everybody understands what they can do.''

Howard Eisley scored 15 for New York but did not play in the
fourth quarter. Othella Harrington had 15 points but did not score
in the final period. Kurt Thomas added 12 points. Latrell Sprewell
had only eight points on 4-of-13 shooting.

"I'm concerned about (Sprewell's) lack of scoring, but I think
that the way Houston has played lately, we've been force-feeding
him,'' Chaney said. "We may have to run more plays for Sprewell.''

Guarded in the first quarter by defensive specialist George
Lynch, Houston started slow, scoring four points on three shots.
Eisley picked up the slack, however, hitting two early 3-pointers
on his way to 11 points for the period.

When Lynch came out in the second quarter, Houston started
firing away over Davis and Courtney Alexander, scoring 12 for the
period, including a long jump shot with just over one second left
to close New York's deficit to 55-53 at halftime.

Game notes
Davis returned three games earlier from a knee injury he
suffered on Jan. 26. ... Wesley missed his first game of the season
and Lynch started in his spot. Wesley said he'll likely miss two
more games. ... Security was tighter at New Orleans Arena, causing
longer lines getting in. ... New York did not get 10 rebounds as a
team until about one minute remained in the first half. ... The
game was stopped temporarily with 1:33 left in the third quarter so
that spectators could watch President Bush's address to the nation
concerning the beginning of America's military campaign into Iraq.
Most of the crowd stood and applauded when the five-minute speech
ended.