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LaFrentz adds double-double; Hornets lose 8 in row

BOSTON (AP) -- It took the Boston Celtics a half to get used to
playing without Gary Payton. After that, the New Orleans Hornets
didn't have a chance.

Paul Pierce had 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his
fourth career triple-double and Boston recovered from an awful
first half without its point guard to beat New Orleans 108-90
Monday night, sending the Hornets to their eighth consecutive loss.

"We were a little bit stagnant, a little confused. In the
second half we started to get things going," Pierce said. "With
or without Gary, these are games we're supposed to win."

Payton did not dress for the game because of a strained left
hamstring, ending his streak of 305 consecutive games played -- the
second-longest active streak in the league. Marcus Banks made his
third career start and had five points and one assist after getting
into early foul trouble.

"Marcus has to play better," coach Doc Rivers said.

Rivers complained of 16 first-half turnovers that led to 17
Hornets points. New Orleans also grabbed 13 offensive rebounds in
the first half to muster a 46-46 tie at halftime.

But the Celtics had 13 assists and six turnovers in the second
half while allowing the Hornets only three more offensive rebounds.

"The first half, I thought we were pretty much awful. No way
around that," Rivers said. "It was a huge swing."

Raef LaFrentz had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Ricky Davis
scored 23 for Boston, which had lost four of its previous five
games.

Lee Nailon and Baron Davis scored 18 apiece for New Orleans,
which fell to an NBA-worst 2-27. Rodney Rogers returned to the
lineup after missing 24 games with a sprained left knee and had 10
points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes. P.J. Brown had 15
rebounds.

"We don't know how to win. We don't know how to win. We don't
know what it takes to win in this league," Hornets coach Byron
Scott said. "For some reason, we got satisfied. We were happy. We
played a pretty good first half. ... But in the second half, they
turned it up a bit and we just folded like a cheap suit."

The game was tied at the half and Boston led just 52-51 with
8:34 left in the third when Banks, on an assist from Pierce, made a
layup that started a 10-1 run. Pierce finished it with a 3-pointer,
on an assist from Banks, to make it 62-51.

The Hornets closed within four points, 67-63, before the Celtics
scored 24 of the next 28 points to put the game away.

Game notes
The Hornets swept the Celtics last season. ... To make room
for Rogers, who was activated before the game, New Orleans waived
forward Corsley Edwards. ... Payton had not missed a game since a
strained abdominal muscle kept him out of Seattle's game against
the Vancouver Grizzlies on Feb. 5, 2001. He had missed just three
games due to injury in a 13-year career. "This whole thing scares
me because it's a hamstring," Rivers said. Washington's Antawn
Jamison has played in 357 straight games. A.C. Green holds the NBA
record of 1,192 consecutive games. ... Jim Jackson remained on
suspension for refusing to report to the Hornets after being traded
to New Orleans from Houston.