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Nets Scrap Hornets

Even though Keith Van Horn, Stephon Marbury and the New Jersey Nets defense did in Charlotte down the stretch, Hornets forward Anthony Mason took the rap.

Van Horn scored 12 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, Marbury added 21 point and matched his season high with 15 assists, and the Nets held Charlotte to 12 fourth-quarter points in a 104-93 victory Saturday night

Mason missed the start of the game after his arrest early Saturday on assault charges following a fight outside a bar in Harlem. Mason, released from jail Saturday night, arrived at the arena late in the first quarter and entered the game in the second quarter.

"I take full responsibility for this game," said Mason, who had six points, five rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes. "If this doesn't happen, this team goes out, plays much better and wins."

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  • Mason didn't get much sleep, but refused to blame that for failing to score a field goal or make big impact.

    He did hit two free throws with 9:45 to play to give the Hornets their only lead in the second half at 87-86, but that didn't last long.

    Jim McIlvaine put the Nets back in front with a dunk and then Van Horn, who had not scored more than 20 points since early February, and the Nets defense took over.

    Van Horn scored three straight baskets to trigger a 7-2 spurt during which the Hornets made one of 10 shots, that coming on a questionable goaltending call against McIlvaine.

    "The key for me is just winning," said Van Horn, who also had two steals and a block in the fourth quarter. "That's what I want to do. Fortunately I was out there and was able to help the team do it. That's my only concern, not what's in my statistics."

    Van Horn also had 11 rebounds in helpin the Nets snap a two-game losing streak.

    "Keith wasn't playing like he normally plays," said Nets forward Kendall Gill, who added 23 points and nine rebounds. "You could tell his confidence was kind of waning. But that's the way he should play every night."

    The closest Charlotte got after that was five points.

    Derrick Coleman had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead Charlotte, and Eddie Jones added 23. However, they were 1-for-9 from the field in the final quarter.


  • Marbury banked in a 45-footer as the buzzer to end the first quarter.
  • With Mason detained in New York, veteran Dale Ellis got his first start of the season.
  • Coleman has scored in double figures in 20 straight games.
  • The Nets will play their next five games on the road, starting in Utah on Monday.
  • The Hornets lost for only the fourth time in 19 games when Coleman scores 20 points.
  • The win broke a five-game losing streak for the Nets against Charlotte.

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