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Hornets Finish Strong, Down Bobcats

After starting 11-1, the Hornets had fallen to 12-5, losing four of their last five games. New Orleans blew big leads in their last two defeats to San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Tonight, at the Hive, the Hornets needed to finish strong. That’s exactly what they did. Holding Charlotte to only 11 points in the fourth quarter, the Hornets defense was superb, and their offense clicked late, especially David West.

West scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half and New Orleans beat the Bobcats 89-73 on Wednesday night.

Emeka Okafor had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Chris Paul dished out 14 assists for New Orleans, which came in having lost four of five games and snapped a two-game skid.

Charlotte, which has lost four of five and two straight, scored only four points over the last 9:04, during which the Hornets closed the game on an 18-4 run that turned what had been a close game with 16 lead changes into a lopsided affair in the final couple minutes.

Gerald Wallace led Charlotte with 18 points, while Boris Diaw and D.J. Augustin each added 13 points and Tyrus Thomas had 10 assists.

Trevor Ariza and Willie Green each scored 10 points for the Hornets.

The only truly disappointing aspect of the game was the attendance. Only 10,866 showed up to watch one of the best teams in the NBA. With the attendance benchmark back in play for New Orleans, the true Hornet fans can only shake their heads in disgust, and hope the crowd improves for Friday night’s matchup against the Knicks.

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