Bobcats hold on late, top HornetsNov 8, 2008 - 3:52 AM By Will Bryan PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- The Charlotte Bobcats bounced back from Wednesday's three-point loss, holding off a strong fourth-quarter rally from the New Orleans Hornets en route to a 92-89 victory on Friday night.
Behind big 3-pointers off the bench from rookie D.J. Augustin and Adam Morrison, the Bobcats responded to a 12-2 rally by the Hornets in the fourth quarter by going on a 14-2 run of their own to open up a seven-point lead.
Chris Paul had a chance to tie the game with under 20 seconds remaining, but Raymond Felton blocked a runner in the lane, and the Bobcats iced the game from the free-throw line, where they were 29-of-31 on the night.
"I think it was important that we did step up after giving up a lead, and showing that we can come and execute," Charlotte coach Larry Brown said. "Hopefully, this is a positive thing for these guys. They need something good to happen for them."
Bobcats guards Jason Richardson and Felton combined to score 40 points.
Despite coming up lame and holding his right knee midway through the first quarter, Richardson finished with 20 points on 5-of-14 shooting, including 8-of-9 from the free-throw line.
Charlotte used a 21-7 second-quarter run to take a 12-point halftime lead, holding Paul scoreless before the break.
"They did a good job of closing off the lane," Paul said afterward. "They made me work real hard to get the ball back in my hands in the half court. Sometimes other guys are going to have to attack to keep the teams honest."
In the second quarter, the Bobcats held Peja Stojakovic scoreless after he had scored 11 points on 3-of-4 from the arc in the first quarter.
Gerald Wallace added eight points, seven rebounds and four steals while limiting David West to just 11 points before forcing the All-Star forward from the contest with his sixth foul.
The Hornets went 3-of-17 from the field in that second quarter while the Bobcats were able to get easy points from the line. New Orleans forward Tyson Chandler finished the first half on the bench with four fouls, while James Posey had three first-half fouls.
Paul recovered to score 20 second-half points while dishing out 10 assists on the night. The All-Star point guard helped turn a five-point deficit at the end of the third quarter into a five-point lead just minutes into the fourth.
"I think it was our best defensive effort of the season," Richardson said. "We did a lot of things right tonight. We did a great job on Chris Paul. We made him make some bad decisions. He's a superstar and he brought his team back, but we did a good job tonight."
Morrison added nine points on three long-range shots and Augustin contributed 11 and four assists off the bench.
"We just tried to play hard and slow the clock down so that they wouldn't get any more momentum in that stretch," Augustin said about the fourth quarter.
Although the Bobcats held the lead going into the fourth quarter in each of their first five games, this was only their second victory on the young season, handing the Hornets their second straight loss.
NEW ORLEANS 89
CHARLOTTE 92 FINAL
Nov 7 9:26 PM
NEW ORLEANS 61
CHARLOTTE 66 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 7 8:51 PM
NEW ORLEANS 35
CHARLOTTE 47 HALFTIME
Nov 7 8:10 PM
NEW ORLEANS 28
CHARLOTTE 26 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 7 7:37 PM
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