Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 1/31

Game 1: Friday, January 31st
Game 2: Sunday, March 9th
Game 3: Wednesday, April 2nd
Game 4: Monday, April 14th

Nets 97

(46-29, 15-22 away)

Hornets 106

(42-34, 26-12 home)

    Coverage: COX

    7:30 PM ET, April 2, 2003

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 22 9 66 97
    NO 19 10 77 106

    Top Performers

    New Jersey: J. Kidd 17 Pts, 4 Reb, 13 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    New Orleans: J. Magloire 17 Pts, 16 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Davis leaves game after twisting knee

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Hornets did something in their first year in New Orleans that the Jazz didn't do for the city in five years: make the playoffs.

    The Hornets, who moved to New Orleans from Charlotte after last season, locked up their fourth straight playoff berth Wednesday night with an assist from the Sacramento Kings.

     Baron Davis

    Jamal Mashburn scored 24 points, Baron Davis and George Lynch each added 19 as the Hornets beat the New Jersey Nets 106-97. The victory, along with Sacramento's 105-99 win against the Washington Wizards, advanced the Hornets to the playoffs.

    "This was a key win tonight," Hornets coach Paul Silas said. "Not just because we clinched a playoff berth, but because we might meet this team in the playoffs."

    The Jazz, which played in New Orleans from 1974-79, never made the playoffs while in the city.

    The victory might have been costly, however. Davis, who returned to the lineup March 11 after missing 20 games following surgery on his left knee, twisted the knee and left the game late in the third quarter. Silas said after the game it was too early to know how bad Davis' injury was.

    Mashburn, who had just two points in the first quarter, and Lynch, who had only seven points in the first half, picked up the slack.

    "We've still got a long way to go as far as seeding is concerned," Mashburn said.

    Jamaal Magloire scored 17 for the Hornets and grabbed 16 rebounds, and reserve Robert Pack added 10.

    "It takes some pressure off us," Lynch said. "But we can't look at it like that. We've got to try to improve each game now."

    Richard Jefferson led the Nets with 24 points, Kerry Kittles added 19, Jason Kidd had 17 points and 13 assists, Rodney Rogers 16 points and Jason Collins 10.

    New Orleans, which led by as much as 22, saw the Nets cut the lead to nine on a jumper by Kittles with 2:45 remaining.

    Jefferson's layup with 1:57 left pulled New Jersey within 98-91. The Nets did not score again until Collins hit a free throw with 38 seconds left.

    "We were just trying to fight to get back in it," Jefferson said. "We were without Kenyon Martin, who is our best rebounder. The guys were a little fatigued."

    In the third quarter, tempers flared. An elderly couple was tossed out of the game after the woman threw a peanut at an official who called a foul on Lynch. A few minutes later, a shoving match under the Nets' basket between Magloire and Brian Scalabrine drew both teams and both coaches onto the floor before officials restored order.

    A double technical foul was called on Magloire and Scalabrine, plus a flagrant fowl on P.J. Brown.

    The Nets opened the game with a 14-4 run before the Hornets' shots began to fall. New Orleans cut the Nets lead to 22-19 at the end of the first quarter.

    New Orleans pulled ahead 49-41 at the half.

    Game notes
    The Hornets have clinched their 11th consecutive .500 or better season. ... Hornets G David Wesley missed his straight game because of a bruised left foot. ... Nets F Kenyon Martin was out with a sprained knee. ... Nets G Kittles was presented a plaque prior to the game recognizing his contributions to his alma mater, St. Augustine High in New Orleans...the Hornets put single game home playoff tickets on sale immediately after the game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 106
    FGM-FGA 33-79 (.418) 40-78 (.513)
    3PM-3PA 6-15 (.400) 6-15 (.400)
    FTM-FTA 25-31 (.806) 20-27 (.741)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-33 14-47
    Assists 26 27
    Turnovers 9 13
    Steals 9 8
    Blocks 5 6
    Fast Break Points 6 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 24 (1/1)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    New Orleans
    Jason Kidd Kidd
    Points: 17
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 13
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1
    Jamaal Magloire Magloire
    Points: 17
    Reb: 16
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2