Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 3)

Series starts 11/28

Game 1: Monday, November 28th
Hornets83Final
Warriors99
Game 2: Wednesday, March 29th
Hornets86Final
Warriors85
Game 3: Wednesday, April 5th
Warriors109Final
OT
Hornets114

Hornets 86

(33-37, 13-22 away)

Warriors 85

(30-40, 18-18 home)

    Coverage: FSBAY

    7:30 PM ET, March 29, 2006

    ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    NO 22 22 22 2086
    GS 29 16 22 1885

    Top Performers

    NO: C. Paul 18 Pts, 6 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl

    GS: M. Dunleavy 19 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Hornets get much-needed win over Warriors

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Everybody on the court could tell Mike Dunleavy released his final shot an instant too late -- everybody except Dunleavy, who popped his jersey and romped around the arena celebrating a basket that didn't count.

    His Golden State Warriors were an instant too late to avoid an embarrassing loss to the flailing New Orleans Hornets, who seemed just as surprised as Dunleavy to learn they were heading home as winners.

    Rasual Butler scored 20 points and hit three 3-pointers in the final 4½ minutes to lead the Hornets to just their second victory in 14 games, 86-85 over Golden State on Wednesday night.

    Jason Richardson and Dunleavy scored 19 points apiece for the Warriors, but neither player could come up with a basket in the final 7.7 seconds. Richardson's attempt was blocked by Butler before Derek Fisher missed a rebound attempt -- and Dunleavy released a short bank shot just after the buzzer sounded.

    "I thought I got it in," Dunleavy said in the Warriors' somber locker room. "But when nobody else was reacting, I figured something must be wrong."

    Something has been wrong with both of these teams for two months, but the split-second difference between the final buzzer and Dunleavy's release sent the Hornets from the court with stunned smiles.

    Rookie Chris Paul had 18 points and seven assists for the Hornets, who didn't score in the final 86 seconds of their third road game in four nights. They still hung on to snap their four-game losing streak and breathe life into their fading playoff hopes.

    "We understand we have to scratch and claw our way to every one of these victories down the stretch," Butler said. "It feels real good to know that we're still in the hunt. We feel we're absolutely a playoff-caliber team, even though we're a young team. And we know we have to go out there and prove that."

    Butler, promoted to New Orleans' starting lineup just two weeks ago, hit seven 3-pointers last week against the Los Angeles Clippers -- the Hornets' only other victory since Feb. 26.

    New Orleans remained in 10th place in the Western Conference, two games behind eighth-place Sacramento with two games in hand. Though they've done little to deserve a playoff berth since the All-Star break, the Hornets still have a shot.

    "I keep shaking my head that we are still there with 12 games left," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "If we can win eight or nine of these games, it'll be interesting. Sacramento's not running away with the eighth spot, and Utah is right there."

    Neither team led by more than three points in a tight fourth quarter until Butler put the Hornets ahead 86-81 on back-to-back 3-pointers from the corner. But Richardson hit two free throws, and Fisher's jumper pulled Golden State within one point with 36 seconds left.

    After Marc Jackson missed a jumper, the Warriors called a timeout -- but Richardson, Fisher and Dunleavy all failed to rescue Golden State from a second consecutive home loss after a gritty win at Sacramento on Sunday.

    "We ended up getting a ton of mediocre shots," Warriors coach Mike Montgomery said. "The longer we did that, the more they got confidence that they could stay in the game. Then we got ourselves in a hole that we had a tough time digging ourselves out of. We got three shots at the end, but we never should have been in that situation."

    The Hornets even won in Oakland without leading scorer David West, who missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle, and former Warriors guard Speedy Claxton, who bruised his right big toe.

    P.J. Brown also went to the locker room with 2:44 to play after spraining his left ankle when he was fouled on a drive to the basket -- but afterward, Brown said the sprain was mild. He plans to play Friday against Memphis.

    Baron Davis, traded from New Orleans to Golden State last season in a deal involving Claxton, sat out his seventh straight game with a sprained right ankle that's hampered him for a month. Davis, No. 2 in the NBA in assists, could be cleared to play after his next examination on Thursday, however.

    Game notes


    Before the game, New Orleans recalled Brandon Bass from a brief stint with Tulsa of the D-League. He played just one game in Tulsa after playing in 19 with the Hornets this season. ... Warriors G Will Bynum was named the top rookie in the D-League earlier in the day. He spent most of the season with Roanoke in the minor league. ... The clubs meet again in Oklahoma City next week.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    NO
    GS
    Points 86 85
    FGM-FGA 34-85 (.400) 30-79 (.380)
    3PM-3PA 4-13 (.308) 8-26 (.308)
    FTM-FTA 14-18 (.778) 17-23 (.739)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-47 16-49
    Assists 18 19
    Turnovers 11 15
    Steals 8 7
    Blocks 4 5
    Fast Break Points 15 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 17 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 5 15

    Top Performers

    No/oklahoma City
    Golden State
    Chris Paul Paul
    Points: 18
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Mike Dunleavy Dunleavy
    Points: 19
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1