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West and Okafor help Hornets handle Bobcats

Dec 2, 2010 - 4:31 AM New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - David West scored a game-high 22 points, and the New Orleans Hornets clamped down defensively in the fourth quarter to upend the Charlotte Bobcats, 89-73.

Emeka Okafor contributed 14 points and 13 rebounds against his former club, while Trevor Ariza and Willie Green each netted 10 points for the Hornets, who had lost four of their previous five games.

Gerald Wallace ended with 18 points, and Boris Diaw and D.J. Augustin chipped in 13 apiece for the Bobcats, losers in four of their last five.

"We didn't handle their zone. We didn't even know they were in the zone," Bobcats head coach Larry Brown said. "It's disappointing."

The Bobcats were within 71-69 following a Kwame Brown jumper with nine minutes left in the game, but they made just one field goal the rest of the way.

West's three-point play pushed the margin to 79-71 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining, and Ariza's three-pointer following two Wallace free throws a little later opened a game-ending 10-0 flurry.

"The past couple of games we thought that we should've (won), but we just didn't earn it in that fourth quarter," Okafor said. "We learned from our mistakes and turned it up."

The Hornets led 28-24 after the first quarter, and an offensively-challenged second stanza ended with the hosts holding a slim 43-42 edge.

It stayed close throughout the third, with Chris Paul's late bucket giving New Orleans a 65-62 advantage.

Game Notes

Okafor was the Bobcats first ever draft pick in 2004...Charlotte's Stephen Jackson served a one-game suspension for arguing with officials in the team's previous game...Paul finished with nine points and 14 assists for the Hornets, who improved to 8-1 at home.