Hornets fall to 0-9 at home

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Stephon Marbury finally found his shooting
touch and it made the difference for the New York Knicks.

Marbury had 22 points and nine assists to help the Knicks end a
three-game losing streak with an 86-79 victory over New Orleans on
Wednesday night, dropping the Hornets to 0-9 at home.

After shooting 2-of-12 in the Knicks' loss Tuesday night in
Memphis, Marbury started 1-for-6 but made six of his next 12 shots,
including four 3-pointers. His last basket, a driving scoop shot
with about two minutes to go, stopped a 6-0 Hornets run that
trimmed New York's lead -- once as large as 24 -- to 10.

Marbury, who averages just over 20 points, said he doesn't let a
streak of bad shots affect him.

"If it's an open shot you always think that you're going to
make it," Marbury said. "You never think you're going to miss."

Kurt Thomas scored 15 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Nazr
Mohammed made his first five shots, finishing with 14 points on
6-of-7 shooting from the field, to carry the Knicks to an early
double-digit lead. Mohammed also had nine rebounds, while Tim
Thomas scored 11 points.

Needing a victory just to get back to .500, the Knicks (9-9)
never took the league-worst Hornets (1-16) for granted, coach Lenny
Wilkens said.

"There's no fooling around. You can't because those are the
teams that are dangerous," he said. "When a team has that kind of
record and you come in here thinking you're just going to roll over
that's when you get in trouble. So we didn't want to do that."

Lee Nailon and reserve guard Dan Dickau led New Orleans with 17
points each, while David Wesley added 13. P.J. Brown had 11 points
and 10 rebounds, while Chris Andersen finished with 10 points and
12 rebounds.

But the Hornets ended up shooting only 34.9 percent as New York
packed the inside and challenged New Orleans to make jump shots.

"Wesley was the only guy who could really hurt you from outside
and we knew that," Tim Thomas said. "We focused in on him and
said, 'let's make other guys to make shots,' and that kind of
helped us until they put Dickau in."

New York's lead was 22 when Marbury hit his third 3-pointer,
making the score 64-42 half way through the third quarter. The
Knicks were shooting about 57 percent at that point, then suddenly
lost its offense.

The Knicks failed to score on the last seven possession of the
period, but the Hornets continued to shoot inconsistently and
needed Andersen's tip-in just to trim the lead to 68-54 by the end
of the quarter.

Mohammed's strong start was the difference in the first half. He
reached 10 points before a minute had elapsed in the second
quarter. The 8-foot jumper capped a 14-2 run that gave New York an
early 30-17 lead.

Outshooting New Orleans 54.3 percent to 32.6 percent for the
half, the Knicks kept a double-digit lead throughout the second
period and led 45-29 after Marbury's 3-pointer.

After Wesley responded with a 3, Tim Thomas connected while
driving into a crowd, giving New York a 47-32 lead at halftime.

"We're just not knocking down shots," Hornets coach Byron
Scott said. "We're doing a pretty good job getting open shots and
a good job running the offense. If we're not making (shots), we're
putting so much pressure on ourselves on the other end."

Game notes
Allan Houston remained out of uniform in his second game
since being activated from injured reserve. ... The Knicks are 1-3
with Anfernee Hardaway out of the lineup. ... Three of the Hornets'
starters -- Matt Freije, Alex Garcia and Nailon -- weren't with the
team last season. ... Freije left the game in the third quarter
with a cracked tail bone. He'll be day to day, a Hornets spokesman
said. ... J.R. Smith, the Hornets' first-round draft pick, didn't
play for the second straight game. ... Second-year forward Michael
Sweetney had five fouls in 13 minutes of play.