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Davis, Brown help end road breakdown

12/31/2003

BOSTON (AP) -- The New Orleans Hornets relied on Baron Davis and
one of their best defensive performances of the season to snap a
four-game road losing streak.

Davis had 29 points and 10 assists to lead New Orleans past the
Boston Celtics 96-94 Wednesday.

P.J. Brown added 15 points and 14 rebounds as New Orleans
improved to 3-0 against Boston this season.

The Celtics' Paul Pierce scored 14 points on 4-of-16 shooting.
He was 1-for-10 in the first half and attempted just six shots in
the second. Ricky Davis scored eight points on 3-for-12 shooting.

"(David) Wesley did a great job on Ricky Davis and the
combination of George (Lynch) and Stacey (Augmon) stopping Pierce
was terrific," Hornets coach Tim Floyd said. "After losing four
in a row on the road, we needed this victory."

The Celtics chose to spin the loss another way.

"Even the great ones struggle and have tough nights," Celtics
guard Mike James said. "Other guys have to be ready to pick up the
slack."

Ricky Davis' 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds left cut Boston's
deficit to two points, and the Celtics forced the Hornets to throw
away the ensuing inbounds pass. But George Lynch stole Jiri
Welsch's entry pass to seal the win.

Boston trailed 91-84 before Pierce hit a 3-pointer and Welsch
added a pair of free throws to bring the Celtics within 91-89.

The lead changed hands 10 times in the second half, but David
Wesley hit a 3-pointer with 4{ minutes left to put New Orleans
ahead 86-81. Baron Davis pushed that lead to 90-82 with a 20-foot
jump shot off the glass with just over two minutes left.

"This game was full of runs and we were fortunate enough to
make the last run," Baron Davis said. "We have our defensive
swagger back and it was nice to get a road win after I felt we gave
one away in Detroit."

Boston erased a four-point halftime deficit to take a 70-69 lead
at the end of the third period. Walter McCarty led the Celtics by
scoring nine straight points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

The Celtics didn't attempt a free throw until 58.6 seconds were
left in the second quarter.

"It's always tough coming to Boston," Brown said. "We thought
if we could prevent Pierce from getting into his flow and play
Hornet basketball, we could probably get a victory."

Welsch led Boston with 17 points, and James added 15.

"We hung around today," Celtics center Chris Mihm said. "We
had our chances and that's what's discouraging."
^Notes:@ Boston was the second of four Eastern Conference opponents
with records of .500 or better that the Hornets will face on their
current four-game road swing. ... Mark Blount followed up a 6-for-6
shooting night against Phoenix Monday by hitting his first five
attempts from the field. ... Jamaal Magloire and Blount received
matching technical fouls in the third quarter for rough play
underneath the basket.