Okafor leads Hornets past Wolves, 114-86

Published 9:55 am Monday, April 12, 2010

Darren Collison and the New Orleans Hornets wanted to forget their recent stretch of futility and give their fans something to cheer about in the final home game of a disappointing, injury-plagued, non-playoff season.

A date with the worst team in the Western Conference, the Minnesota Timberwolves, did the trick.

Collison had 17 points and 11 assists, and fellow rookie Marcus Thornton scored 22 points to help the Hornets snap a five-game skid and trounce Minnesota 114-86 on Sunday night.

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“We just wanted to (thank) our fans for supporting us, so we wanted to go out there and make sure we put on a good show,” said Collison, thrust into the starting lineup often with All-Star Chris Paul missing 36 games because of injuries.

“You can take the past and try to get better from it, but for the most part you want to leave all that (losing) in the past and just focus on getting ready for next year. I think we’ve got a good team coming in next year.”

Emeka Okafor scored 23 points, one below his season high, and reserve Julian Wright set a season high with 16 points to help New Orleans win for only the fifth time in 22 games.

“We wanted to come out with a lot of intensity and at least here at home, just wanted to get a win,” said David West, who had 10 points and 12 rebounds. “We did what we wanted to do in terms of coming out pretty aggressive and they laid down.”