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franklin county times

Hornets sting Wizards

By By Richard Dark / EMG staff writer
Feb. 19, 2004
NEW ORLEANS Mardi Gras Madness was prevalent in New Orleans Arena one night after perhaps the New Orleans Hornets biggest win of the season.
Coming off a 14-point win over the Eastern leading Indiana Pacers on the road a night earlier, the Hornets continued to build their momentum by destroying the hapless Washington Wizards 120-98 in front of a Carnivalcrowd of 11,042 on Wednesday night.
The Hornets (30-24) have now won three straight, and did so by scoringtheir highest point total of the season.
And even though the handful of parades that rolled outside the Arena might have kept the attendance modest, the Hornets themselves didn't hesitate to get into the sharing of the season, spreading the offense all through the roster ranks.
Hornets' coach Tim Floyd said simply, "We're playing at a real high level right now. We've got good shot selection."
Baron Davis played the part of krewe rider to perfection, dishing out 13 assists to go with his 23 points, leading five Hornets in double figures in a contest that stopped being competitive in the latter part of the third quarter.
"Our defense and transition game was what carried us," Davis said. "It was just one of those nights where everybody shot the ball well and passed the ball well. We were real unselfish. And once we got up, we ran it up." For the game, the Hornets cooked the nets, hitting on 55 percent of their shots.
Jamal Mashburn pumped in 26 points and Darrell Armstrong added 18 before leaving the game in the third with an injury. Steve Smith came off the bench to score all 14 of his points in the fourth quarter.
Juan Dixon's 16-point effort allowed the Wizards (16-36) to take an early lead, but it proved to be short-lived. Kwame Brown added 12 and six rebounds for Washington, which fell apart crossing the halftime bridge, a time frame in which they were outscored by 13. New Orleans rallied to lead
54-51 at the break, but extended it to 79-59 on a 3-pointer by Armstrong at the 4:36 mark of the third that capped a 19-2 run. All Star center Jamaal Magloire, scored 11 points and added nine rebounds.
"They got on that big third quarter run that pretty much decided the game," said Jerry Stackhouse, who was held to just seven points. "We played pretty even with them, except for that."
At halftime, the team staged a Mardi Gras parade of its own, as the Krewe of Hornets rolled around the arena throwing trinkets, to celebrate Carnival Season, which culminates Tuesday.
The Hornets will try to keep their roll going, as they head to New Jersey Saturday night. They return home next Wednesday to face the Los Angeles Clippers.

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