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Hornets snap 5-game road slide

ATLANTA (AP) -- The worst team in the Western Conference had its
way with the least of the East.

Pulling away in the final period, the New Orleans Hornets
extended the Atlanta Hawks' losing streak to 13 games with a 96-86
victory Tuesday night.

Reserve Lee Nailon scored 19 points to lead the Hornets.

"We know we don't have the most talent in this league, but we
can compete," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "That's all I
ask these guys to do every single night, and they bring it every
single night."

But rarely do the Hornets win on the road. They improved to 7-30
away from home.

Scott recently shook up his lineup, and Nailon was one of the
starters to move to the bench. But each of the team's three scorers
in double figures against the Hawks did not start.

"I play a lot of minutes still, so it doesn't matter if I come
off the bench," Nailon said. "He just wants somebody to keep the
energy up."

It was the second time in three games the Hornets did not have a
starter score in double figures.

P.J. Brown had 13 points and Chris Andersen had 12 to help New
Orleans snap a five-game skid on the road.

Tom Gugliotta and Tony Delk each had 18 points for Atlanta,
which also lost 13 straight from Feb. 10 through March 9. The Hawks
have lost 26 of their last 27 games, with the only victory coming
at Toronto on March 11.

The Hawks, who led late in the third period, felt they wasted a
good opportunity to end the losing streak.

"We came in confident we could win," Hawks rookie Josh Smith
said. "It's disappointing to come out with a loss. We had the
opportunity to win. We were up on them. We set the tone."

New Orleans outscored Atlanta 29-20 in the final period.

"We had the lead," Delk said. "We played extremely hard. They
got a lot of offensive rebounds in the second half, and that made a
difference."

New Orleans outscored the Hawks 46-36 in the paint, exposing a
season-long problem for Atlanta, but the Hawks still had a chance
in the final minutes.

Delk's 3-pointer pulled Atlanta within 90-86 with 2 minutes
left, but Brown scored after an offensive rebound and Andersen
added another putback basket to push the lead back to eight points.

"That really kind of stopped the Hawks' momentum," Scott said.

Said Andersen: "That's my game, man. I come off the bench for a
purpose, and that's to bring energy and defense."

The Hawks were without forward Al Harrington, the team's leading
scorer and rebounder, who was held out with tendinitis in his right
knee. Making only his second start of the season, Gugliotta filled
in with 12 rebounds, but he couldn't offset the Hornets' advantage
inside.

Smith added 17 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta, and Tyronn
Lue had 15 points and 11 assists.

Looking for their first home victory since Feb. 7, the Hawks led
22-16 after the first period but couldn't hold on. New Orleans came
back to tie it at 38 at the break.

A basket by former Hawks guard Dan Dickau gave the Hornets a
67-66 lead entering the final period, and Andersen scored the first
five points of the fourth as the Hornets continued to pound the
ball inside.

Game notes
The loss moved Atlanta within three games of the
franchise's longest losing streak -- 16 straight during the 1975-76
season. ... Dickau led the Hornets with eight assists but suffered
a slight sprain to his left shoulder late in the game. He said his
status was day to day.