New Orleans 101, Toronto 92

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TORONTO (TICKER) —The New Orleans Hornets simply had the Toronto Raptors’ number this season.

Jamal Mashburn scored 27 points and Baron Davis added 22 and 11 assists as the New Orleans Hornets swept the season series from the Toronto Raptors with a 101-92 victory.

Mashburn and Davis led six Hornets in double figures as New Orleans swept Toronto for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign.

“We came ready to play,” Davis said. “We got down early but kept our composure, stuck to our game plan and moved the ball offensively. This is a good team. They’re much better than their record.”

The Hornets won their four meetings with the Raptors by an average of 15 points.

“They’ve always played well against us,” Raptors swingman Morris Peterson said. “Coach (Paul) Silas has done a good job with them. You know, there’s just some teams you don’t play well against.”

Jerome Moiso had 12 points and a career-high 10 rebounds off the bench for his first double-double in the NBA and P.J. Brown chipped in 10 points and 11 boards as the Hornets controlled the glass with a 52-38 edge.

The Hornets outrebounded their opponent for the 25th time in 26 games.

With the win, New Orleans remained 1 1/2 games behind the Indiana Pacers for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with nine games left.

“It’s a long season,” Mashburn said. “People are nicked up, banged up, and you have to fight through it at this time of year.”

Vince Carter paced Toronto with 21 points but was held to just 4-of-12 shooting in the second half as the Raptors absorbed their 10th loss in the last 12 contests.

A fellow North Carolina alumnus, George Lynch guarded the two-time All-Star for much of the game and managed to hold Carter in check.

“He’s a big, strong guy,” Carter said. “A couple of times going across the lane he tried to hold me up a little. I guess he was successful in that aspect. But for the most part, it’s pretty much what I’ve seen (before).”

“You’ve got to contest every jump shot,” Lynch said. “When he brings it to the hole, the big guys (have to be) ready to step up and make a play and we were successful at doing that.”

Silas acknowledged that Carter was not at his best.

“He tried to be as physical as possible,” Silas said. “You can’t stop Vince Carter when he’s on his game. I thought we did as good a job as anybody could, trying to force him to his left, flooding the lane when he did get inside.”

Despite struggling in the previous three meetings, Toronto opened a nine-point lead just under two minutes into the second quarter. But Moiso scored on a running dunk to spark a 13-1 run and capped it with a layup with 6:19 to play in the half, giving New Orleans a 40-37 advantage.

“The first quarter, we were kind of going through the motions,” said Mashburn, who scored 12 points during the opening period. “This time of year, you get an attitude that you can show up and beat teams. … Anybody in the NBA can beat you. You have to come prepared every night.”

Davis had five points and two assists as the Hornets put together a 15-6 burst during a 4 1/2 minute span later in the second. The point guard ignited the surge with a 3-pointer and capped it, making an 11-foot jumper with 74 second left in the half, to open a 55-45 cushion for New Orleans.

The Raptors edged back in front by a point with 3:35 remaining in third, but Lynch made a layup and a 3-pointer during the Hornets’ 9-2 outburst. That put New Orleans in front for good, 78-72, with just under a minute to go in the period.

Toronto’s Antonio Davis left the game with 6:57 to go in the third due to a groin strain.

“I thought we had it going and then we lost Antonio,” Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. “I thought that hurt us a little bit. After that, we just didn’t shoot as well.”

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 New Orleans
B. Davis B. Davis
9-22,  22 Pts
5 Rebs, 11 Assists
V. Carter V. Carter
8-20,  21 Pts
5 Rebs, 4 Assists

Team Stat Leaders