Wednesday , Nov , 15 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Stojakovic’s career-best 42 points leads Hornets over Bobcats

Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) – Peja Stojakovic scored 22 of his career-
high 42 points in the first quarter, blistering the Bobcats with five three-
pointers along with eight rebounds on the game, as New Orleans/Oklahoma City
slowly pulled away down the stretch for a 94-85 victory over Charlotte at the
Ford Center.

The Hornets, who had lost three straight after a 4-0 start, didn’t get much
out of Stojakovic’s supporting cast, but the sharpshooter’s effort was enough.
Outside of Stojakovic, the Hornets made only 20-of-64 from the floor.

Bobby Jackson had 14 points off the bench and Chris Paul dished out 10 assists
with three steals, but misfired on all eight of his field-goal attempts.

“I feel a little bit better about our effort,” said Hornets head coach Byron
Scott. “You know it’s something we are going to continue to harp on, because
like I said, if we play as hard as we can, we can be a pretty good basketball
team.”

In another rendition of what was a heated backcourt rivalry from their days in
the Atlantic Coast Conference, the North Carolina product Raymond Felton
scored just seven points with three assists against the former Wake Forest
Demon Deacon Paul.

Felton’s college teammate Sean May had 18 points and 11 rebounds off the
bench, but the Bobcats’ offensive show belonged to rookie Adam Morrison, who
tied his career high with 21 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Emeka
Okafor posted a double-double with a team-high 25 points, 16 rebounds and a
franchise-high seven blocks.

Charlotte, which dropped its fourth straight, was undone by poor foul shooting
and turnovers. The Bobcats made only 13-of-23 from the charity stripe and
committed 18 turnovers.

“We played hard, but there were unforced turnovers,” explained Okafor.
“You can’t do that down the stretch in a close game. You just can’t.”

After the Bobcats took a 60-59 lead in the third stanza on Okafor’s jump hook,
the Hornets reeled off 10 in a row to take the lead. Stojakovic scored the
middle six points and Jackson’s layup with 3:42 left opened the nine-point
edge.

The Bobcats tied the game at 80-80 on another Okafor jump hook with 4:49 left
in the fourth, but the remaining time belonged to the Hornets.

It was Stojakovic again who took control, scoring seven straight points for
New Orleans/Oklahoma City. His jumper with 3:28 left opened an 87-82 edge, and
the Hornets held on from there.

After an offensive display on both ends during the first stanza, the two clubs
struggled to find the touch before halftime. A 7-0 stretch by the Hornets late
in the half helped build the three-point edge.

Desmond Mason’s three-point play, Jackson’s jumper and Stojakovic’s free throw
opened a 55-50 lead with 49 seconds remaining. The half was vintage
Stojakovic, who buried 7-of-9 from the floor along with three jumpers from
beyond the arc for 23 points.

Morrison was 6-of-11 for 14 points while Okafor played large in the first half
against Tyson Chandler. Okafor compiled 15 points, nine rebounds and three
blocks to Chandler’s zero points and four boards.

Game Notes

Chandler did improve in the second half, finishing with two points and 15
rebounds before leaving late in the game after taking an elbow to the face
from May…Charlotte held a 50-44 edge on the boards…The game featured 14
ties and 15 lead changes…The Hornets have won three straight in the series.

NOH CHL