Weary Hornets hold off Bobcats

Bobcats guard Gerald Wallace fouls guard Trevor Ariza after he drives to the basket during the Hornets’ 88-81 victory.

Associated Press

Bobcats guard Gerald Wallace fouls guard Trevor Ariza after he drives to the basket during the Hornets’ 88-81 victory.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — David West had 26 points and eight rebounds and the tired Hornets took advantage of Tyrus Thomas' late ejection to beat the Bobcats 88-81 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory.

New Orleans already was facing a late arrival by playing an 8:30 p.m. game in Houston on Friday that went into overtime. It then learned its pilot was sick and another one would have to be flown in. The plane didn't take off until about 3:30 a.m., and the players didn't arrive at their hotel until about 6:15.

In a game in which neither team had led by more than six, a silly play by Thomas helped put New Orleans in control.

After Chris Paul's 3-pointer with 3:16 left put New Orleans ahead 81-75, Gerald Wallace responded with two free throws. Thomas then grabbed a missed shot on the ensuing Hornets possession.

But he violently swung his elbow into Emeka Okafor's face. Okafor crumpled, and the officials huddled before ejecting Thomas. Okafor made both free throws for the flagrant foul with 2:38 left. West then made two free throws on the ensuing possession to make it 85-77.

Game highlights: Aaron Brooks had 24 points and 10 assists and Luis Scola scored 20 as the Rockets beat the Hawks 112-106. That ended Atlanta's five-game overall win streak and 10-game home win streak. … Nick Young scored 19 of his 29 during the third to help the host Wizards beat the Raptors 98-95. … Tayshaun Prince scored 21 for the host Pistons, who rallied from a 70-59 halftime deficit to beat the Kings 110-106.

Anthony's top priority is title, not money

DENVER — Carmelo Anthony insists he cares more about chasing a championship than cash.

That's why the Nuggets' All-Star forward has held off signing the three-year, $65 million extension that has been on the table since the summer.

He's still weighing his options even as trade talks intensify with the Nets. That deal could go down this week — provided, of course, he signs the extension.

Anthony said before Saturday's game against Cleveland, which could be his final one at home as a Nugget, his motivation isn't so much about moving to a big market or making big money but capturing a title.

He said he will sign an extension only with a team that gives him a shot at a championship.

"I'm going into my ninth season. I have no time to waste right now," said Anthony, whose Nuggets play at the Spurs today then return home Wednesday. "I want to see the light at the end of the tunnel in my future. That light is a championship."

James out: LeBron James missed his second straight game Saturday, against the Bulls, because of a sprained left ankle. The Heat star, who took part in pregame warmups, was hurt Wednesday against the Clippers.

Nowitzki in then out: Dirk Nowitzki returned for the Mavericks against the Grizzlies after missing nine games with a strained right knee then was ejected. With 8:08 left in the third, the star forward was called for a foul. He argued the call and got two technical fouls, finishing with seven points and five rebounds in 15 minutes. Dallas went 2-7 without Nowitzki.

Rocket hospitalized: Rockies forward Patrick Patterson was taken to an Atlanta hospital for tests at halftime after complaining of chest pains and congestion. The rookie played the game, scoring six off the bench, despite having the flu. His condition was unavailable.

Around the league: Raptors guard Leandro Barbosa is out 1-2 weeks with a strained right hamstring. Toronto's third-leading scorer at 13.4 per game was hurt Friday against the Pistons. … Pistons guard Tracy McGrady left in the first quarter against the Kings with a shin injury. His status was unknown.

Hornets 88, Bobcats 81

NEW ORLEANS (88): Ariza 4-11 1-2 11, West 10-19 6-7 26, Okafor 2-4 6-8 10, Paul 6-10 6-6 19, Green 4-10 0-0 8, Gray 0-0 0-0 0, Pondexter 1-1 0-0 3, Jack 1-7 0-0 2, Smith 1-2 0-0 2, Thornton 3-7 1-2 7. Totals 32-71 20-25 88.

CHARLOTTE (81): Wallace 5-13 5-5 15, Diaw 4-11 0-0 9, K.Brown 5-6 2-5 12, Augustin 3-10 4-4 12, Jackson 5-15 3-6 15, Mohammed 1-3 0-0 2, Henderson 2-4 2-2 6, Thomas 2-6 4-4 8, Livingston 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 28-69 20-26 81.

New Orleans 25 23 21 19— 88

Charlotte 21 21 25 14— 81

3-Point GoalsNew Orleans 4-11 (Ariza 2-5, Paul 1-1, Pondexter 1-1, West 0-1, Green 0-1, Thornton 0-2), Charlotte 5-15 (Augustin 2-6, Jackson 2-7, Diaw 1-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsNew Orleans 40 (Okafor 10), Charlotte 51 (K.Brown 14). AssistsNew Orleans 21 (Paul, Ariza 4), Charlotte 19 (Augustin 7). Total FoulsNew Orleans 20, Charlotte 17. TechnicalsNew Orleans defensive three second, Augustin, Jackson. Flagrant Fouls—Thomas. Ejected— Thomas. A17,486 (19,077).

Rockets 112, Hawks 106

HOUSTON (112): Battier 2-7 0-0 4, Scola 10-16 0-0 20, Hayes 6-9 0-0 12, Lowry 6-12 2-2 16, Martin 2-7 5-5 10, Brooks 8-14 4-4 24, Lee 0-2 0-0 0, Budinger 2-5 0-0 4, Hill 8-12 0-0 16, Patterson 3-3 0-0 6. Totals 47-87 11-11 112.

ATLANTA (106): Johnson 11-24 4-4 30, J.Smith 9-19 3-4 21, Horford 11-16 2-2 24, Bibby 3-7 0-0 9, Evans 3-5 0-0 7, Ja.Crawford 3-11 0-0 8, Teague 1-2 1-2 3, Pachulia 1-2 0-0 2, Wilkins 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 43-87 10-12 106.

Houston 29 27 27 29— 112

Atlanta 31 27 24 24— 106

3-Point GoalsHouston 7-20 (Brooks 4-7, Lowry 2-4, Martin 1-4, Budinger 0-1, Lee 0-1, Battier 0-3), Atlanta 10-26 (Johnson 4-8, Bibby 3-7, Ja.Crawford 2-6, Evans 1-2, Teague 0-1, J.Smith 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsHouston 48 (Hayes, Hill 8), Atlanta 38 (J.Smith 12). AssistsHouston 24 (Brooks 10), Atlanta 27 (Horford 8). Total FoulsHouston 16, Atlanta 10. A13,420 (18,729).

Wizards 98, Raptors 95

TORONTO (95): Kleiza 5-11 1-2 11, Johnson 4-8 4-4 12, Bargnani 9-21 4-6 25, Calderon 10-16 0-0 21, DeRozan 3-11 1-2 7, Wright 1-4 0-0 2, Davis 7-11 1-1 15, Gaines 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 40-85 11-15 95.

WASHINGTON (98): Lewis 4-8 2-2 13, Blatche 6-18 5-6 17, McGee 5-7 0-0 10, Wall 4-14 0-0 8, Young 10-19 7-8 29, Thornton 4-6 1-1 9, Hinrich 1-8 0-0 2, Yi 5-5 0-0 10, Martin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 39-85 15-17 98.

Toronto 25 17 25 28— 95

Washington 19 28 28 23— 98

3-Point GoalsToronto 4-10 (Bargnani 3-5, Calderon 1-2, Gaines 0-1, Kleiza 0-2), Washington 5-12 (Lewis 3-4, Young 2-7, Hinrich 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsToronto 43 (Johnson 10), Washington 54 (Blatche 13). AssistsToronto 26 (Calderon 15), Washington 23 (Wall 9). Total FoulsToronto 17, Washington 14. A14,652 (20,173).

Pistons 110, Kings 106

SACRAMENTO (106): Garcia 2-10 2-4 6, Thompson 10-13 2-6 22, Cousins 4-8 6-8 14, Udrih 4-8 0-0 9, Evans 11-23 1-2 25, Dalembert 4-5 0-0 8, Jeter 2-4 0-0 5, Casspi 3-8 1-2 9, Landry 3-5 2-5 8. Totals 43-84 14-27 106.

DETROIT (110): Prince 9-13 3-3 21, Wilcox 3-7 1-2 7, Monroe 5-7 1-2 11, Stuckey 6-11 7-8 19, McGrady 0-1 0-2 0, Villanueva 7-13 0-1 16, Gordon 7-14 2-2 16, Bynum 5-9 8-9 18, Daye 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 43-77 22-29 110.

Sacramento 36 34 10 26— 106

Detroit 27 32 23 28— 110

3-Point GoalsSacramento 6-13 (Casspi 2-4, Evans 2-4, Jeter 1-2, Udrih 1-2, Garcia 0-1), Detroit 2-8 (Villanueva 2-5, Stuckey 0-1, Bynum 0-1, Gordon 0-1). Fouled OutWilcox. ReboundsSacramento 57 (Cousins 8), Detroit 38 (Monroe 7). AssistsSacramento 27 (Evans 11), Detroit 20 (Bynum 7). Total FoulsSacramento 21, Detroit 19. TechnicalsCousins, Sacramento defensive three second. A18,784 (22,076).

Weary Hornets hold off Bobcats 01/15/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 15, 2011 10:54pm]

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