NEW ORLEANS - Emeka Okafor had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and the New Orleans Hornets held off Orlando, 92-89, in overtime on Wednesday night, snapping the Magic's nine-game winning streak.
Marcus Thornton capped a 22-point effort with a crucial jumper and two free throws in the final minute of the extra period as the Hornets took the lead for good and won their second straight. Chris Paul had 12 points and 13 assists, and David West added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Dwight Howard had 29 points and 20 rebounds, but missed a pair of free throws that could have given Orlando a one-point lead with 11 seconds to go. Jason Richardson added 21 points, hitting five 3-pointers – two in the final minute of regulation to help Orlando erase a seven-point deficit and force overtime.
The Magic entered the game averaging 107.7 points a game during its winning streak but was frustrated by a Hornets defense that came in allowing an average of 92.2 points a game.
New Orleans led throughout the second half, going up by as many as 10 points in the third quarter.
But after Richardson sank his fourth and fifth 3s of the game, Orlando trailed 80-78 with 43.3 seconds left. After Paul missed one of two free throws, Hedo Turkoglu hit an open 3 with 6.9 seconds left and West’s 16-foot jumper rimmed out at the buzzer, forcing overtime.
In the extra period, Thornton’s jumper put the Hornets up 90-89 with 37 seconds left. Howard was fouled on an offensive rebound but missed both free throws with 11.6 seconds to go. Thornton’s last free throws provided the final margin.
Terse tweet: LeBron James sent a pointed tweet to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert after Cleveland’s 55-point blowout loss to the Lakers on Tuesday: “Crazy. Karma is a b----.. Gets you every time. Its not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!” It was a response to Gilbert’s scathing letter to Cleveland fans after James left for Miami where he said James would take Cleveland’s curse with him “down south. ... James will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.”
Fastbreaks: Russian-born Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko and his wife, Masha, were sworn in as U.S. citizens Monday. Dirk Nowitzki’s ailing right knee will keep him out of his eighth straight game for the Dallas Mavericks.