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Hornets snap two-game slide

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- New Orleans coach Tim Floyd demanded better
second-half defense, and this time the Hornets answered the
challenge.

Coming off a 25-point blown lead in a loss at Cleveland, the
Hornets forced the Los Angeles Clippers into 13 second-half
turnovers -- including eight in the final period -- to take a 99-93
victory Wednesday night.

"Coach got on us (at halftime). He challenged us on the
defensive end and we were able to extend our pressure," said
Hornets guard Baron Davis, who had 26 points, nine assists and two
second-half steals. "We're a good defensive ballclub when we want
to play defense and tonight was just a tale of two different
halves."

Los Angeles averages 16 turnovers per game but didn't give the
ball away once in the first half -- a factor in the Clippers being
down only 50-49 at halftime despite New Orleans' 53 percent
shooting.

"I liked our effort. We did a lot of good things -- but too many
turnovers in the fourth quarter," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy
said. "It was hard to overcome that."

Jamaal Magloire had 21 points and 14 rebounds, including a jump
hook off an offensive rebound to give New Orleans a 91-85 lead with
just under two minutes left.

"Coach went to me the first possession of the game. I was able
to score and get into the rhythm," Magloire said. "He called
plays for me and got me the ball in an open area. Me and P.J.
(Brown) were involved and that's been the difference."

Jamal Mashburn scored 20 for the Hornets, who snapped a two-game
losing skid. Brown hit a pair of late jumpers and grabbed a key
defensive rebound with 28 seconds remaining as part of his 14
points and 12 rebounds.

"After Monday's loss we needed a win in the worst way," Brown
said. "Until we get our tough mentality back on the defensive end
... we will continue to have inconsistency in our game."

Elton Brand led Los Angeles with 19 points and 12 rebounds,
while reserve Chris Wilcox had 18, including a dunk that cut New
Orleans' lead to 93-91 inside the final 30 seconds. But the
Clippers were forced to foul, and Darrell Armstrong made four free
throws in the final 20 seconds.

"I'm frustrated. Davis made some big shots, Magloire up for the
rebounds, Mashburn solid all game," Brand said. "We just can't
get over the hump. Turnovers here, bad plays here, a lack of
execution there and that's the ballgame."

Davis missed Wednesday morning's shootaround, and coach Tim
Floyd said Davis was having stomach problems and might not play.
But Davis started and was solid throughout, turning turnovers into
points on half-court drives or crisp passes in transition to open
shooters. He also hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, one
from several feet behind the arc.

"I'm still hurting. I didn't think I would have too much energy
to really play," Davis said. "I just went out there and tried to
be there for my teammates."

Quentin Richardson scored 18 for the Clippers, 13 in the first
half. Corey Maggette added 16, and his 3-pointer got Los Angeles as
close as 84-83 with just under four minutes to go. But Davis
responded with a straightaway 3 and the Clippers could only get as
close as two points the rest of the way.

"You score on me, I'm definitely going to come back and score
on you, especially when you're talking trash," said Davis, who'd
received a technical foul earlier after approaching the Clippers'
bench and exchanging words with several players during a timeout.

Game notes
Mashburn left the game after the first quarter with a
strained hamstring but returned four minutes later and hit the
first shot he took. ... Hornets reserve forward Robert Traylor was
given permission to miss the game because his grandmother had a
stroke. ... Chris Kaman jammed a finger on his left hand midway
through the first quarter and did not return. ... The Clippers were
playing their fifth game in eight days, fourth on the road. They
are 2-3 over that stretch and have lost seven of nine.