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Stojakovic, Hornets shoot down slumping Heat

Nov 22, 2006 - 3:38 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- In a game with plenty of hotheads, Peja Stojakovic and the New Orleans Hornets had the hot hand.

Stojakovic made five 3-pointers and scored 23 points as the Hornets remained perfect at home with a 101-86 victory over the Miami Heat, who are starting to show signs of frustration.

"Peja has been on fire, and he is playing extremely well for us," Hornets guard Desmond Mason said. "He's playing in a groove right now, and we are going to need that from him all season."

"Peja has been incredible," Hornets center Marc Jackson said. "He reminds me of Rex Chapman in his prime - his release is quick. But this is what we expected of him when he came here."

Mason scored 17 points and Tyson Chandler pulled down 18 rebounds for the Hornets, who made 11-of-19 3-pointers and improved to 4-0 at home, with three wins here and one at New Orleans.

There were a pair of incidents in the fourth quarter, when the Hornets pulled away for their fourth straight win overall.

Midway through the period, big men Jackson and Alonzo Mourning became entangled and began flailing at each other. There were elbows and shoves but no punches before referee Bernie Fryer ejected both players.

"Just a 'in the heat of battle' moment," Jackson said. "I have a lot of respect for 'Zo, but things just kept piling up, and we shoved a little bit, but we are both energetic guys that want to get things done and it got out of hand."

"A little (frustration)," Mourning said. "Marc is a tough guy to battle, and things got a little heated. Luckily it didn't get a lot heated. We lost our heads for a second."

With 3:17 to play, Hornets guard Chris Paul took an elbow to the head from Heat forward Antoine Walker and responded by throwing the ball at Walker, drawing a technical foul.

"The refs saw what they saw, but I don't want to talk about it," Paul said. "I don't want a fine."

"We lost our heads a little bit," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "We stopped trying once they made a run, and after the double technicals, our effort stopped. I'm very disappointed in how we responded in the fourth quarter."

Dwyane Wade scored 29 points for the defending champion Heat, who have lost four of their last five games, all but one without sidelined superstar Shaquille O'Neal, who is out at least another three weeks following knee surgery.

Wade scored 19 points in the first half, helping the Heat hang around with a 47-46 deficit. His layup gave Miami a 55-54 lead before Mason responded with a three-point play that gave the Hornets the lead for good.

The Hornets opened the final period with a 13-2 run. Rasual Butler made a 3-pointer, Jackson had a pair of jumpers and a three-point play and Stojakovic sank a 3-pointer for an 88-75 lead with 7:18 to go.

"We got that little mojo back, we felt the game was there for us, so we took advantage of it," Hornets coach Byron Scott said.

In the fourth quarter, the Hornets made 4-of-5 3-pointers while the Heat made 5-of-26 shots.

Bobby Jackson scored 14 points, Marc Jackson added 12 and Paul 11 with 10 assists for the Hornets, who had six players in double figures.

Jason Williams scored 13 points and Dorell Wright added 10 and 12 boards for the Heat, who shot under 37 percent (32-of-87), including 4-of-22 from the arc.

"Something is wrong with us right now," Wade said. "We have been competitive in a lot of games. We have to make shots. We can't find the open guy when we get double-teamed, then we can't make the shot when we find the open guy."

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