NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Antoine Walker and Atlanta Hawks snapped
their winless streak and extended the disastrous start of new
Hornets coach Byron Scott.
Walker scored 27 points, including a late 3-pointer that gave
Atlanta the lead for good, and the Hawks claimed a 96-95 victory
over the still winless Hornets on Friday night.
"I hadn't had an open look for a 3 all night. I caught it in
rhythm and just shot it," Walker said. "We had a lot of different
guys step up. Hopefully, this is the start of something good."
Kenny Anderson and Al Harrington each added 17 to help Atlanta
hand Scott his fifth straight loss as Hornets coach. The five-game
skid to start the season matched the franchise record for poor
openings, set in 1989-90.
"We are not playing good defense and not playing very smart,
and that combination will lose you a lot of games," Scott said,
noting the Hawks became the third visiting team to shoot 50 percent
or better in New Orleans Arena, where the Hornets are already 0-4.
The one-point result also turned Baron Davis' late technical
foul into a glaring blunder.
Only minutes after Davis had led his team on a 15-2 run to put
New Orleans up 87-86, his foul on Harrington's dunk and ensuing
loss of composure over an elbow stinger allowed Atlanta to convert
a four-point play that all but decided the game.
The play started when Hornets guard Darrell Armstrong lost the
ball dribbling upcourt. Anderson snatched it near half-court and
found Harrington open underneath. After fouling Harrington, Davis
walked toward half-court during a timeout, pointed at the Hawks
bench and cursed. Jon Barry hit the technical, then Harrington hit
his free throw to give Atlanta a 95-89 lead with 1:42 to go.
Hornets spokesman Harold Kaufman said Davis also strained his
lower back and was not expected to stay in New Orleans while the
Hornets traveled for a Saturday night game in Milwaukee. Davis
declined to talk to reporters after the game. Visibly upset, he
stood in a corridor leading to both locker rooms, but left without
"I think Baron got mad because he hurt himself," Walker said.
"Baron's a competitor. He wants to win. He works real hard. You've
got to give him a lot of credit. His team was frustrated. We were
in the same boat he was in."
After the Hornets cut it to 95-93, Walker missed one of two free
throws, allowing New Orleans a chance to tie the game. Rookie J.R.
Smith missed a 3-pointer, then Jamaal Magloire got the rebound to
David Wesley, who also missed from long range. Smith dunked that
rebound with 1 second left, but Atlanta inbounded the ball and time
Davis led New Orleans with 18 points, seven assists and two
steals, but also had seven turnovers. Magloire had 17 points and 12
rebounds, while Wesley and Lee Nailon each scored 14.
Atlanta got 12 points from Jon Barry and 11 from Predrag
Drobnjak, who shot 5-for-6.
Anderson and Walker helped the Hawks build an 84-72 lead early
in the fourth quarter. Then Davis took over the game for the next
several minutes with a pair of free throws, a dunk, a 3-pointer, a
steal and an assist.
A layup by Nailon gave the Hornets an 87-86 lead, but Walker
responded with his first 3-pointer of the game and the Hawks never
Afterward, the Hawks raved about Anderson, who broke out of a
shooting slump that had him averaging less than five points on 24
"Kenny came up to me the other day and said, 'Hey coach, I know
I'm struggling a little bit but I'll figure it out.' That, to me,
is the sign of a true veteran," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said.
"He came out tonight and he established himself. He really had his
best game of the season."
Harrington had 10 rebounds. ... Walker's 3-pointer with
3:51 left in the game gave him 1,000 3s in his career. ... The
Hornets' 51-50 advantage at intermission marked their first
halftime lead of the season.