Hornets Hold Off Mavericks

President Bush

Big games from Eddie Jones are becoming commonplace for the Charlotte Hornets. Strong showings by reserves Derrick Coleman and Brad Miller are an unexpected bonus.

The Hornets augmented another impressive outing by Jones with overpowering play from their reserves, led by Coleman and Miller, for a 104-99 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

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  • Charlotte grabbed a season-high 60 rebounds and had a 47-27 edge in bench scoring, paced by 21 points, 18 rebounds and eight blocks from Coleman and 13 points and 12 boards from Miller. The 30 rebounds for Miller and Coleman were 11 more than the total for the Mavericks' entire starting lineup.

    "Those guys can do that every night," Jones said. "That's the best thing for us when you get guys coming off the bench like that and giving you a lift."

    Jones had 24 points, nine assists and six rebounds to help Charlotte hold off a late Dallas rally. Jones, who came in averaging an NBA-best 2.8 steals, added four more as the Hornets, winless in four games on the road this season, improved to 5-0 at home.

    "We expect something big from Eddie every night," coach Paul Silas said.

    Coleman, however, has been another story. He has struggled since being charged with drunken driving for his role in a wreck just before the season started that also left teammate Eldridge Recasner injured.

    Coleman's points, rebounds and blocks Wednesday night all were season-highs, as were his 37 minutes played.

    "It was just the aftereffects of the accident," Coleman said of his slow start to the season. "It was like everything was tight. So I was getting massages and things like that to et it loosened back up, and right now, I feel fine."

    The Mavericks, who one night earlier shot a season-high 52 percent in a 19-point victory over Houston, were held to 42-percent shooting by Charlotte, including just 17 percent in the second quarter.

    "We had the second-quarter blues," said coach Don Nelson, whose Mavericks missed 19 of their 23 field-goal attempts in the period. "It just killed us. We looked like two different teams."

    Robert Pack had 27 points and 14 assists for the Mavericks, who dropped to 1-4 on the road.

    Dallas fell behind by 16 midway through the third quarter before rallying, cutting it to three points four times in the fourth quarter, the last at 90-87 on Dirk Nowitzki's 21-footer with 1:41 left. But Jones got his lone block of the night, swatting away a jumper by Pack on the Mavericks' next possession.

    Jones hit two foul shots to push the Hornets' lead back to five, and Charlotte added 12 more free throws in the last 47 seconds.

    The Mavericks couldn't sustain a start in which they forced six turnovers and converted them into 12 points, helping them race to a 19-5 lead.

    Charlotte broke it open by scoring 16 consecutive points early in the second quarter, including six by Miller. It started a run in which the Hornets scored 29 of the final 36 points in the quarter to go up 56-41 at halftime.

    "We thought we could come in here and sneak one out, but it was a bad swing in the second quarter," Pack said. "You can't expect to give up leads like that and win on the road."

    The Mavericks were unable to cut their deficit below seven points until Pack's driving layup made it 82-76 with 8:49 left in the game.


  • The 6-foot-7 Jones showed he can do more on defense than just steal the ball when, late in the second quarter, he swatted away a shot by 7-6 Shawn Bradley. Jones was called for a foul on the play, but Bradley missed both free throws.
  • Dallas has lost four consecutive games in Charlotte dating to March 1995.
  • The Hornets are 4-0 when leading at halftime.

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