Hornets 111, Warriors 108

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NEW ORLEANS (AP)—Bostjan Nachbar helped make sure the New Orleans Hornets won’t go down as the worst NBA team ever.

Veteran Rodney Rogers scored 20 points, and Nachbar hit all five of his 3-point attempts in a 19-point showing, leading New Orleans to a 111-108 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

“When I made the first 3, I kind of felt good,” Nachbar said. “I was thinking about staying aggressive, then made one after another.”

New Orleans also got the benefit of a controversial call with 4.3 seconds left after Dan Dickau was trapped on an inbound pass and lost the ball. Jason Richardson failed to control the loose ball and rookie J.R. Smith dove on it, calling timeout as he slid out of bounds. Referee Michael Smith gave New Orleans the timeout, drawing vehement protests from the Warriors, who trailed 109-108.

Smith then caught the next inbound pass as he was fouled and made both free throws. Mike Dunleavy Jr. had a chance to tie it with a 3-point attempt that bounced off the front iron as time expired, ensuring a second straight victory for New Orleans (10-40).

The worst NBA record is 9-73 by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers.

Nachbar, the 15th overall pick by Houston in 2002, was traded to New Orleans this season, during which he has averaged about five points. But he had 13 in the Hornets’ victory Wednesday in Portland.

Against Golden State, he had 11 of his points in the second half, finishing 7-of-9 from the field overall. Dickau and P.J. Brown each scored 16 points, and Smith and Casey Jacobsen each had 15.

“As long as we get this type of contribution from a number of guys we can win some ballgames,” Hornets coach Byron Scott said. “Bostjan was terrific offensively and the rook (Smith) is really coming. He made some very heady decisions at the end of the game.”

Derek Fisher led Golden State with 23 points, hitting three of his five 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter to help Golden State take a 95-90 lead. Richardson and Dunleavy each scored 20 points. Speedy Claxton had 18 points and 11 assists, but fouled out with 14 seconds to go.

But the Hornets, who have shot about 41 percent from the field this season, finished at 54 percent—and 55 percent from 3-point range—against Golden State, which had Warriors coach Mike Montgomery deriding his team’s defense.

The Hornets “shouldn’t be that good offensively. We’re allowing guys to get to the basket that shouldn’t be able to get there,” he said. “They’re a team that’s averaging 80-something points and we give up 111.”

Brown hit a pair of jumpers and drove past layup to put New Orleans ahead 104-97 with 3:56 left. But Golden State responded with a 7-1 run that ended with Dunleavy’s three-point play on a driving bank shot as he was fouled.

After Dickau’s free throws, Fisher’s driving layup pulled the Warriors to 107-106 with 15.4 seconds left. But second-year player Mickael Pietrus fouled Smith before the inbound pass, giving New Orleans a technical foul shot that Dickau made. With the Hornets keeping the ball, Jacobsen was fouled and hit one of two foul shots to make it 109-106. Richardson’s driving layup made it 109-108 with 10.4 seconds left, setting up the disputed inbound play.

The Warriors led 74-64 midway through the third quarter after 3s by Fisher and Dunleavy and a jumper by Richardson. But Smith helped the Hornets answer, scoring seven points on three strong drives—one for a three-point play— while also setting up Nachbar’s 3 during a 10-0 run that tied the game at 74.

Nachbar then hit another 3 and a turnaround jumper at the buzzer, giving New Orleans an 81-79 lead heading into the final period.

Golden State, going with the smaller, quick lineup that had produced an average of 104.5 points during the previous two games, shot nearly 60 percent through most of the first two quarters and led 60-54 at halftime. Rogers kept the Hornets in the game in the first half by hitting his first seven shots, including three 3-pointers, for 18 points.

Notes

The Hornets activated Baron Davis from the injured list but he sat out and is not expected to play until after the All-Star game. … Golden State’s Cliff Robinson returned from five-game suspension for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy and scored six points. … The teams combined for 22 3-pointers, 12 for the Warriors and 10 for the Hornets. … Rogers tied a franchise record with eight turnovers.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Golden State
S. Claxton S. Claxton
7-18,  18 Pts
4 Rebs, 11 Assists
 New Orleans
R. Rogers R. Rogers
8-13,  20 Pts
9 Rebs, 2 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists