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Dickau, Brown pace New Orleans' cause

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Dan Dickau has been so concerned with simply
establishing himself as a legitimate NBA point guard that he hasn't
had time to think of himself as a serious scoring threat.

But that is what he has become for the New Orleans Hornets.

"When you don't think about it, things like that happen, I
guess," Dickau said.

Dickau scored 18 points, hitting four 3-pointers in the second
half, to lead the Hornets to a 94-85 victory over the Charlotte
Bobcats on Wednesday night.

It was the 21st game in a row Dickau has scored in double
figures. He has averaged 14.5 points since coming to New Orleans,
second among active players to only Lee Nailon (15.3).

The 6-foot Dickau is in his third season, but the first in which
he has averaged double-digit minutes.

"Dickau made some big shots," Charlotte coach Bernie
Bickerstaff said. "He floats behind screens. When you're small
like that the recognition of when you're open is important. He
knows when he's open and he pulls the trigger. The guys also do a
good job of setting screens for him."

P.J. Brown added 12 points and 15 rebounds, while Nailon
finished with 14 points.

Brown and Nailon, the only players on the floor who played for
the Hornets during their last season in Charlotte, also played key
roles in helping the Hornets split the season series 1-1 with
Charlotte's new team.

Nailon hit a pair of jumpers and scored on a baseline drive in
the fourth quarter, then threw a long pass to rookie Jackson Vroman
for a fast-break layup that pushed the Hornets' lead to 91-83.

Brown hit a long jump shot with 2:10 left, with the Hornets
clinging to a one-point lead at the time. He later hit two more
free throws as New Orleans began to pull away.

Emeka Okafor led Charlotte with 18 points and eight rebounds,
keeping the game close early in the final period with a pair of
strong inside baskets.

Vroman earned his first career double-double despite shooting
2-of-11 from the field, finishing with 10 points and a career-high
13 rebounds. J.R. Smith scored 17 points for New Orleans, while
reserve center Chris Andersen added 11 points.

Brevin Knight scored 16 for the Bobcats, while Gerald Wallace
had 13 points, four blocks and three steals. Primoz Brezec had 12
rebounds for Charlotte.

The game matched two of the NBA's worst teams (each has only 12
victories) and at times both appeared to play down to the
competition. Each team shot only 39.8 percent from the field and
they combined to commit 32 turnovers in a generally sloppy game
with no sustained pace.

"The Hornets made only 39 percent of their shots, but they made
open shots," Bickerstaff said. "When the game was on the line,
they made it."

Smith had 16 of his points in the first-half, including two
3-pointers and a driving dunk, to help the Hornets build a lead as
large as 46-34.

Jason Hart, who finished with 10 points, closed the second
quarter with a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer to leave the
score 46-39 at halftime.

Charlotte then went on a 9-0 run early in the second half and
cashed in on three turnovers to tie the score at 55 on Knight's
21-foot jumper and the game remained close until the final minute.

Game notes
Kareem Rush went down after running into a pick and had to
be helped off the court. Bobcats spokesman Scott Leightman said
trainers were concerned about the MCL in Rush's left knee and that
Rush was taken to a New Orleans hospital for an MRI. ... Hornets
coach Byron Scott said center Jamaal Magloire and forward David
West participated in the shootaround Wednesday morning and could be
ready to play within two weeks. "(Magloire) did everything -- all
the offensive drills, shooting drills and ball-handling drills,"
Scott said. "After four or five days of conditioning we'll see
where he is and go from there. I want to make sure he's in great
shape for and can run up and down the floor for 30 solid minutes."
... The pregame prayer before all Hornets home games was performed
by an evangelist who pleaded for a victory and blamed supernatural
powers for New Orleans' struggles this season. "Satan, take your
hands off this team!" bellowed Carol Thomas. "This is a
first-class team!" ... The Hornets broke a four-game skid and won
for the first time in 10 tries with their alternative "Mardi Gras
gold" uniforms.