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Hornets 31: Mashburn's buzzer beater

By By Richard Dark / EMG staff writer
March 4, 2004
NEW ORLEANS – It was, after all, his bobblehead night.
Jamal Mashburn gave the fans in attendance Wednesday night, something special to remember besides the souvenir, as he nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that gave the New Orleans Hornets a scintillating 100-97 overtime win over the scrappy Chicago Bulls.
Whether or not they deserved it could easily be debated. The upstart, yet athletic Chicago Bulls provided plenty of argument in their favor. But in the end, the New Orleans Hornets overcame them and snapped a two-game losing streak as the All Star, who finished with 27 points, also drained a trey to help force the extra session.
"I knew it was going in as soon as it left my hand," Mashburn said of the final explosive shot that seemingly blew the lid off the building. "I'm just trying to go out there and make plays. You know, try and win ball games and keep the momentum going. It made up for me missing those two free throws right before that."
With 32.6 seconds left in regulation, Hornet guard David Wesley, playing in his first home game in nearly two months, swung a pass around the key to a wide open Mashburn, who drained a 3-pointer that tied the contest at 91, unleashing the 14,071 fans on hand.
Jamal Crawford, who led the Bulls with 34 points, attempted a game winner with the clock winding down that drew iron.
"I don't know how in the world he made it," Hornets coach Tim Floyd said. "It was just a big time play."
P.J. Brown had a season-high 22 points, including the first points in the extra session for either team, coming two minutes in. He also added 11 rebounds and four assists.
"The win was important, don't get me wrong but I'm more concerned with us playing smarter," Brown said. "I'm not overly excited because I know we can play better. This game should not have gone into overtime."
Mashburn, who finished with 24 points and seven boards, sank a free throw with under a minute left in OT to give New Orleans (33-28) a four-point cushion. But he missed both foul shots at the 14.5-second mark that would have iced the game. Crawford came back launching a rainbow 24-footer with 9.8 ticks to go, tying the contest again.
"We played hard the whole game, he (Mashburn) just made a tough shot at the end," Crawford said.
Antonio Davis, who added 12 points for Chicago (18-43), hit a 16 footer with 1:09 left in the fourth to knot the game at 88, before Crawford, drained a triple to give the Bulls back the lead.
Baron Davis fouled out with 2:26 to go in the final frame, compiling 12 points and nine assists.
Center Jamaal Magloire collected 15 points and 12 rebounds. It was the first time the starting five of Brown, Davis, Magloire, Mashburn and Wesley had begun the game together this season. Wesley threw in 18 points after scoring eight off the bench Monday night in the OT loss to Washington, his first appearance in 20 games because of a sprained foot.
The Hornets resume action again when they host LeBron James and their former coach Paul Silas and the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night.