Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/26

Game 1: Wednesday, November 26th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 23rd
Game 3: Monday, February 23rd
Game 4: Friday, March 5th

Cavaliers 72

(4-11, 0-9 away)

Hornets 82

(11-5, 6-2 home)

Coverage: FSOH

7:00 PM ET, November 26, 2003

Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

1 2 3 4 T
CLE 23 13 17 1972
NO 22 20 24 1682

Top Performers

Cle: Z. Ilgauskas 20 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl, 3 Blk

NO: B. Davis 26 Pts, 7 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl

Hornets keep Cleveland at bay

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Even on an off-shooting night, the New Orleans Hornets had little trouble with a Cleveland Cavaliers' team that was missing two of its top scorers.

New Orleans shot only 38.8 percent, but Baron Davis scored 26 points and David Wesley had 21 against former coach Paul Silas in the Hornets' 82-72 victory Wednesday night.

The Cavs played without Ricky Davis, who was benched, and Carlos Boozer, who has a sprained right ankle.

"We just didn't have enough firepower in there ... but it's not bad to make this kind of showing without those two guys," Silas said. "When they come back, we'll be a better ball club."

The Hornets, coming off a loss a night earlier in Miami, held a double-digit lead most of the second half despite stints of sloppy play and 16 turnovers.

"I thought it was ugly," Baron Davis said. "We were fatigued a bit at the end. That's what usually happens in back-to-back (games). The mental focus was difficult to maintain at times."

Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting to lead Cleveland, losers of 30 straight road games dating to last season. LeBron James struggled for his 15 points, but did have nine assists and eight rebounds.

James dunked on a fast break early in the game for his first points but didn't hit an outside shot until the 4:38 mark of the third quarter. He was 5-of-17 from the field, with two of his baskets coming in the final minutes.

"I didn't shoot well but I think I contributed in other ways," James said. "I just didn't concentrate."

James was guarded by Baron Davis, an aggressive defender and one of the league leaders in steals with 46. Davis only had one steal on James, but it allowed Davis to dribble in alone for an emphatic one-handed dunk.

Silas called Davis, now in his fifth season, "the best point-guard in basketball right now."

"He's got total command of his game," Silas said of the player he coached the previous four seasons. "It took him some time, but he's got it."

Cleveland's Jason Kapono had 14 points, including three 3-pointers, one at the first-quarter buzzer that gave the Cavs an early 23-22 lead.

Silas benched Ricky Davis despite inviting him to join the team in New Orleans. Silas had kept Davis out of practice earlier in the week for unspecified "issues" and initially said Davis would not make the trip to New Orleans.

Without him and Boozer, Cleveland shot 33.7 percent.

"Cleveland still is not a good team," Wesley said. "They really don't have a whole lot of shooters. We basically tried to crowd the middle, make them kick to their shooters and see if they would make" their shots.

The Cavs also were without Ira Newble, who was suspended by the team for one game because of an argument he had with Silas after the Cavs' loss in Atlanta last Saturday.

Game notes

Silas said Ricky Davis would practice Thursday and play against Detroit on Friday. ... Silas said he was happy to be back in New Orleans, where he has a kept a home. Tuesday night, Silas had dinner with a city councilman and said he had met with a number of friends and checked on his house. "It's like coming home," said Silas, whose pregame introduction drew brief but enthusiastic applause before it was drowned out by music that accompanies the Hornets' introductions.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 72 82
FGM-FGA 28-83 (.337) 31-80 (.388)
3PM-3PA 4-17 (.235) 6-22 (.273)
FTM-FTA 12-22 (.545) 14-21 (.667)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-50 7-47
Assists 21 21
Turnovers 17 16
Steals 8 7
Blocks 9 1
Fast Break Points 4 5
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 21 (0/0)

Top Performers

New Orleans
Zydrunas Ilgauskas Ilgauskas
Points: 20
Reb: 7
Ast: 1
Stl: 3
Blk: 3
Baron Davis Davis
Points: 26
Reb: 7
Ast: 8
Stl: 1
Blk: 0