NEW ORLEANS (TICKER) —Robert Pack should plan to stay in New Orleans for a while.
“We’ll sign him for the rest of the season tomorrow,” Hornets coach Paul Silas said. “He’s finishing, he’s zooming, his shot is coming around and he’s up. He’s aggressive and he’s up with his energy level all the time. That’s really what we need.”
Pack, who is playing for his seventh team in his 12th NBA season, collected 18 points, 11 assists and six rebounds as New Orleans closed out a seven-game homestand at 4-3.
“Tonight I just came out and let it flow,” Pack said. “I was not thinking about the contract. I knew we needed this win going into this road trip. Tonight was a good night.”
David Wesley scored 25 points to lead the Hornets, who outscored the Raptors in every quarter, including 23-12 in the final period. New Orleans has won all three of its games with Toronto this season by at least 15 points.
Jamal Mashburn scored just 11 points on 3-of-16 shooting but hit a 3-pointer with 9:59 left to cap a 15-2 run and turn the game into a laugher.
“Our transition from offense to defense was very slow,” Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. “The big guys were slow getting back down or the guards were slow. They had too many second or third shots at the basket.”
Toronto All-Star guard Vince Carter, in his second game back after missing 23 contests with a strained right knee, looked rusty in scoring 13 points.
“It’s very frustrating,” Carter said. “I’m trying to win. I want to win and make the playoffs.”
Early in the fourth period, the high-flying Carter dribbled into the lane early and tried a fancy spin move, only to have his tricky flip shot swatted away by Jerome Moiso.
Moiso, who had warmed the bench for the past five games, had eight points and blocked a career-high three shots. He also tied a career high with nine rebounds.
“Having Moiso come in and play the way he did was a big plus,” Silas said.
Courtney Alexander returned from a strained groin to score eight points in 24 minutes for the Hornets.
Robert Traylor was also impressive for the Hornets, scoring eight points on 4-of-6 shooting and displaying more athleticism than usual.
“I’ve been working with (Traylor) on an outside shot,” Silas said. “I told him now that I think I created a monster, because he’s looking at that hoop.”
Voshon Lenard led five Raptors in double figures with 16 points off the bench, but could not help Toronto avoid its fourth consecutive road loss.
Toronto grabbed only 33 rebounds to New Orleans’ 52. With seven boards, Antonio Davis was the only Raptor to grab more than four. Davis also had five blocked shots to go with 12 points.