Hawks 84, Hornets 76

Preview | Box Score | Recap

ATLANTA (AP)—The New Orleans Hornets thought the key to beating the Atlanta Hawks was containing Jason Terry and Stephen Jackson.

Bob Sura disproved that theory.

Sura celebrated his 31st birthday with 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds Thursday night, and the Hawks took advantage of the absence of Baron Davis to defeat the Hornets 84-76.

“He carried us tonight,” Terry said of Sura.

Sura averaged 3.8 points and 1.9 rebounds with Detroit this season, but he has posted seven double-doubles in 17 games since coming to Atlanta in a Feb. 19 trade.

Though only 6-foot-3, Sura has made an impact with his aggressive play and leaping ability.

“I was just trying to bring some energy,” Sura said. “I’ve always been a pretty good rebounder, even going back to college. I’ve been fortunate enough to get some double-doubles here and I’m thankful for being able to play a lot of minutes here.”

Davis, who leads the Hornets with his average of 23 points, had a sprained left ankle. He is not expected to play in Friday’s home game against Phoenix.

Without Davis, the Hornets were held to 30 second-half points, including 14 in the fourth period.

“Baron wasn’t there, but we should have won the game, bottom line,” said Hornets center Jamaal Magloire, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

“We weren’t efficient at all on the offensive end,” Hornets coach Tim Floyd said. “We really didn’t have an answer for Sura tonight.

“We were really worried about Terry going into the game, and rightfully so, and Stephen Jackson. And I thought we did a solid job there.”

Guarded much of the night by Stacey Augmon, Jackson was held to seven points. Terry scored 14 points, 11 in the second half.

Chris Crawford and Jason Collier scored 16 points apiece for Atlanta, but Sura was the star.

“Unbelievable,” Collier said. “I blocked out Magloire and I looked down at the ball and I see Bobby’s shoes going right across my eyes.”

Without Davis, the Hornets turned to David Wesley, who scored 32 points the last time the teams met.

Using his quick first step to create open shots, Wesley scored 10 of the Hornets’ first 16 points and had 14 in the first half. But he did not score again until 5:41 remained in the game.

“We didn’t hit shots in the second half,” Wesley said. “That pretty much sums it up.”

Then he pointed to his heart

“Wins and losses come from in here,” he said. “It didn’t look good out there. It didn’t feel good. This late in the season, it’s not supposed to be like that.”

After coming back from a 12-point deficit, the Hawks took their first lead at 47-46 on Terry’s 3-pointer as part of a 10-0 run to open the second half.

Darrell Armstrong, who filled in for Davis in the Hornets’ starting lineup, scored eight points.

The Hornets shot just 4-for-24 from 3-point range, including 1-for-8 by Wesley and 2-for-10 by Armstrong.

New Orleans is fourth in the Eastern Conference standings but only 1 1/2 games ahead of fifth-place Milwaukee. When Davis missed six games with a similarankle injury earlier this season, the Hornets went 2-4.

Notes

Maurice Carter, signed to a 10-day contract Thursday, did not play for the Hornets. … The Hawks were without Wesley Person (groin) and Zeljko Rebraca (sore back). … Sixteen of the Hawks’ 23 wins have come against teamsat .500 or better.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 New Orleans
D. Armstrong D. Armstrong
3-12,  8 Pts
6 Rebs, 6 Assists
 Atlanta
B. Sura B. Sura
10-19,  23 Pts
15 Rebs, 5 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists