Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 11/18

Game 1: Tuesday, November 18th
Game 2: Monday, February 2nd
Game 3: Saturday, February 21st

Hornets 88

(8-3, 3-2 away)

Nets 85

(5-6, 2-4 home)

Coverage: COX

7:30 PM ET, November 18, 2003

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

1 2 3 4 T
NO 30 19 23 1688
NJ 21 33 19 1285

Top Performers

New Orleans: B. Davis 25 Pts, 9 Reb, 12 Ast, 2 Blk

New Jersey: B. Scalabrine 14 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Blk

New Orleans wins third in a row

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New Orleans Hornets are already starting to believe they can make a run at the Eastern Conference title.

The same can't be said for the two-time defending champion New Jersey Nets.

Baron Davis had 25 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, and David Wesley hit two late 3-pointers to lead the Hornets to an 88-85 victory Tuesday night.

"Everybody's going at them, the two-time Eastern Conference champions," Wesley said. "Everybody measures against them to see how they're doing. I think we're doing fine."

George Lynch added a season-high 17 rebounds for the Hornets, who have won three straight in improving to 8-3 under new coach Tim Floyd.

Davis and Wesley scored the Hornets' final nine points, with Wesley sandwiching two 3-pointers around a 3-point play by Davis.

Wesley's first 3-pointer gave New Orleans the lead, and his second provided the winning points.

"We've been doing that all season in forcing the tempo and forcing the issue," Davis said. "When we outplay opposing guards, we usually win, and that's what happened tonight."

The big play for the Hornets was Wesley's final 3-pointer, which gave New Orleans an 88-83 lead with 2:10 to go.

The shot came just seconds after Richard Jefferson hit a floater to get New Jersey to 85-83.

Wesley provided a screen for Davis, and the Nets tried to double-team Davis.

"When I came off the weak side, I knew I was wide open," said Wesley, who was 3-for-5 from long range. "I was naked. I just had to get myself together and knock the shot down. It would be sad to let that shot go to waste."

New Orleans guard Darrell Armstrong helped make it interesting at the end by missing two free throws with 14 seconds to go, but Kerry Kittles and Jefferson missed game-tying 3-point attempts for the Nets, who made only one of their last 13 shots.

"We can't play this way and expect to win a championship," center Alonzo Mourning said after the Nets lost for the fourth time in six home games. "That goes without saying. If we play this way, we can't expect to come out of the East."

Jefferson had 16 points and Kittles 14 in a game that New Jersey will remember for the contributions from its reserves. Brian Scalabrine had 14 points, Brandon Armstrong added 10 and Zoran Planinic nine. Mourning provided a late defensive presence in the middle, making two big blocks to keep the Nets ahead.

Scalabrine put the Nets up 81-79 with two free throws with 6:53 to play.

After each team failed on three consecutive possessions, Wesley hit the first of his big 3-pointers from the left wing to give the Hornets an 82-81 lead with 5:01 to go. The Hornets never trailed again.

Game notes

Nets G Jason Kidd had a rare triple-single: six points, seven assists and nine rebounds. ... The Nets activated F Rodney Rogers (lacerated thumb) from the injured list before the game and placed F Tamar Slay (groin) on the injured list. Rogers did not play. ... Lynch's career high for rebounds is 20 with Philadelphia in 1999. Jamaal Magliore added 12 boards for the Hornets, who had a 50-38 edge on the boards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 88 85
FGM-FGA 35-86 (.407) 30-77 (.390)
3PM-3PA 9-27 (.333) 4-17 (.235)
FTM-FTA 9-13 (.692) 21-23 (.913)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 19-50 9-38
Assists 22 20
Turnovers 15 11
Steals 5 4
Blocks 5 9
Fast Break Points 5 9
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 21 (0/0)

Top Performers

New Orleans
New Jersey
Baron Davis Davis
Points: 25
Reb: 9
Ast: 12
Stl: 0
Blk: 2
Brian Scalabrine Scalabrine
Points: 14
Reb: 4
Ast: 3
Stl: 0
Blk: 2