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There was a special visitor Thursday night in the crowd of 16,238 at the Charlotte Coliseum, and David Wesley responded accordingly.

With Bobby Phills' widow in attendance, Wesley scored 24 points to power the Charlotte Hornets to a 117-102 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

It was by far Wesley's best outing in seven games since his close friend and teammate was killed in an auto accident that occurred while police said he was drag racing against Wesley.

Phills' widow, Kendall, was on hand for the first time since her husband's death.

Wesley hit 8 of 13 field-goal attempts and scored eight points in a 17-2 run that put the Hornets in control in their fifth victory in six games.

"The second half he was just so comfortable, so confident. He just let it happen. That's what he's capable of," coach Paul Silas said. "We didn't really call out any plays for him, but he hit shots from the perimeter and he drove to the basket. That's what we have to have from him, that kind of production. If we get that, we're going to be tough."

Eddie Jones added 25 points and seven steals for the Hornets.

Jerry Stackhouse had 34 points and Grant Hill scored 28 in his return from a two-game absence, but Detroit got just 10 points from its bench and lost its sixth consecutive game.

Around the rim

Tim Duncan scored 20 points as the Spurs ended the Timberwolves' six-game road win streak, 92-80. Minnesota, which got 26 points from Kevin Garnett, lost for only the fourth time in its last 20 games in the finale of a five-game road trip. . . . Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points, four during a key fourth-quarter run, as the Mavericks handed the Clippers their 10th consecutive defeat, 99-90. Michael Finley added 20 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for the Mavericks. . . . Lamond Murray scored 24 points, Shawn Kemp had 20 points and 14 rebounds and the Cavaliers had an unusually easy time in a 102-90 win over the Magic. The Cavs, playing their second home game following a rough trip to the West, made 32 free throws to snap Orlando's three-game winning streak. . . . The Warriors scored the final 11 points of the game and overcame a triple-double by Rockets rookie Steve Francis to defeat Houston, 115-110. Francis had 25 points and career-highs in rebounds (17) and assists (14).. . . Greg Anthony hit two big three-pointers in the fourth quarter and the Trail Blazers pulled away from the Jazz to win, 85-75. Jermaine O'Neal, getting his most significant playing time of the season, added 14 points and Damon Stoudamire had 13 for the Blazers, who won their fourth straight. Utah's Karl Malone had a season-low 12 points. . . . Michael Dickerson hit a fallaway jumper at the buzzer and the Grizzlies snapped a seven-game home losing streak by beating the Nets, 108-106. Dickerson had 29 points and New Jersey's Stephon Marbury netted a game-high 42, including 23 in the final quarter.

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