NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Hornets' injury epidemic gave diminutive
Dan Dickau a chance to show he could play in the NBA.
His latest performance made him a crowd favorite among New
Orleans' victory-starved fans.
Dickau scored a career-best 23 points -- including a four-point
play on a 32-foot buzzer beater as he was fouled -- and the Hornets
(2-19) snapped an 11-game skid and won their first home game of the
season, 98-89 over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
Dickau's long heave at the end of the third period was only one
of several timely baskets, and the 6-foot-1, 190-pound guard's
scrappy end-to-end play had the crowd on its feet often.
"I don't look like your typical NBA player, so I get a lot of
people that pull for me because of that," Dickau said. "I'm
getting a chance to play now and I'm trying to make the most of it.
We start winning a little bit more and it's definitely going to be
a great experience."
A back injury to Baron Davis five games into the season,
combined with a 1-13 start, prompted the Hornets to trade veteran
guard Darrell Armstrong to Dallas in exchange for Dickau, a
third-year player out of Gonzaga. The move was meant to save money
while giving young guards Junior Harrington and Alex Garcia more
playing time. But Dickau started playing well right away, and
Garcia injured his knee Sunday and is out for the season.
After scoring zero points in three minutes the day after the
trade, Dickau has scored in double figures in five of six games,
averaging 15 points in that stretch.
Against Golden State, he was the catalyst in a 20-5 Hornets run
through the first part of the fourth quarter that gave the Hornets
the lead for good.
The announced crowd of 13,641 stood and cheered during the final
20 seconds and roared at the buzzer.
"I guess we haven't given them much to cheer about in the last
20 games," Hornets forward P.J. Brown said. "I haven't heard the
crowd that loud in a long time."
David Wesley scored 18 points for the Hornets -- who had lost a
night earlier at expansion Charlotte -- while Harrington added 15.
Chris Andersen threw down several thunderous dunks -- one on an
alley-oop pass from Dickau -- and combined with Dickau to score 14
straight Hornets points from late in the third quarter until early
in the fourth. Brown had 11 points and 11 rebounds -- and some high
praise for Dickau.
"He's fearless. He still doesn't know everything yet. He just
plays off of instinct but he's been a pleasure to play with,"
Troy Murphy had 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead Golden State
(7-15), which had won at Dallas the night before.
"This was a dangerous game against a team that hasn't won for a
long time ... and we didn't show up," Murphy said. "They've got a
lot of guys who are hungry, who haven't had a chance to play a lot
in the NBA."
Speedy Claxton scored 21 and Jason Richardson 15, including a
pair of late 3-pointers to keep the Warriors in contention. But New
Orleans forward Matt Freije hit a 3-pointer from the corner to
counter Richardson's second 3, giving the Hornets an 88-79 lead
with 2:54 left.
"You can't take anything for granted in this league, that's for
doggone sure," Warriors coach Mike Montgomery said.
The Hornets hired The Bonham Group of Denver to sell naming
rights to the five-year-old New Orleans Arena. The arena is next to
the Louisiana Superdome. ... Lonny Baxter, who played on Maryland's
2002 NCAA championship team and was signed out of the Continental
Basketball Association by the Hornets on Sunday, scored his first
points for New Orleans after grabbing an offensive rebound in the
second quarter. He finished with four points.