Felton, Okafor hold off Hornets for second straight winFeb 21, 2007 - 5:09 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Charlotte Bobcats part-owner Michael Jordan said he is disappointed in the team's play this season. He had to like what he saw against the New Orleans Hornets.
Raymond Felton had 21 points and 11 assists and Emeka Okafor collected 16 and 15 rebounds as the Bobcats shared the ball well in a 104-100 victory over the Hornets for their second straight win.
Derek Anderson nailed two huge free throws in the waning seconds for the Bobcats, who attacked the offensive glass in the game's pivotal possession, setting up Anderson's big foul shots.
"The game is on the line in that situation," Anderson said. "I don't normally hit the offensive glass, but you have to go get the ball in that situation. I wanted to make sure we got another offensive opportunity. It was just one of those effort plays that people don't see in the stat sheet, but it works."
A legend in his home state of North Carolina, Jordan is in his first year as one of Charlotte's part-owners. He made his presence felt, sending out a personal letter to Bobcats' season-ticket holders to assure them that the team would spend money to improve in the offseason.
"That's something new to me (Jordan's letter)," Felton said. "We're coming out and playing hard each and every night. Unfortunately, our record doesn't show how much better we've gotten as a team, but we're starting to win games now. So, we'll see what happens."
On Tuesday, the current roster must have impressed Jordan. Playing a complete game, Felton attacked the basket hard, shooting 7-of-16 from the field, and was the consummate playmaker. Okafor benefited from his teammate's unselfish play, nailing 7-of-11 shots and getting several easy looks.
"We're starting to learn how to finish games now," Felton said. "We're learning how to finish them in the end. It was tough, but we're learning. If that had been us last year, we probably wouldn't have pulled that out."
After Jannero Pargo's 3-pointer cut the Hornets' deficit to two with 30 seconds left, Felton missed a foul-line jumper and Okafor could not follow up the miss. But after hitting the glass hard, Anderson was fouled by Hornets guard Devin Brown and made it 104-100 with six seconds left to seal the win.
"During winning time, there was a big rebound that Derek just went and got," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "Those are the things that you have to do during winning times. We made some blocks and then got those rebounds."
Hornets guard Chris Paul, who was 0-of-8 from the floor and scored just four points in the first meeting between the teams this season, collected 20 points and seven assists going up against Felton - a good friend and former college rival.
"(Paul and Felton) are very competitive out there and also very good friends," Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace said. "It made for an exciting game between them tonight."
A North Carolina native, Paul did not get caught up in playing in his home state.
"When you step on the court, it's all about winning," Paul said. "I don't even think I looked at my parents one time when they were sitting courtside."
NEW ORLEANS 100
CHARLOTTE 104 FINAL
Feb 20 9:31 PM
NEW ORLEANS 78
CHARLOTTE 77 END, 3RD QTR
Feb 20 8:51 PM
NEW ORLEANS 44
CHARLOTTE 53 HALFTIME
Feb 20 8:04 PM
NEW ORLEANS 24
CHARLOTTE 25 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 20 7:34 PM
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