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Without Davis, Hornets beat Bulls 89-82

Associated Press Modified: November 3, 2012 at 11:18 pm •  Published: November 3, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) — It didn't matter to Robin Lopez or the rest of the Hornets that Anthony Davis was back in New Orleans.

They weren't dwelling on it. Instead, they were dealing with it.

Greivis Vasquez scored 18 points and the balanced Hornets beat the Chicago Bulls 89-82 on Saturday night even though they were missing the No. 1 draft pick.

"That's the big thing about a team game," Lopez said. "Everybody came together and everybody stepped it up."

Lopez and Jason Smith scored 16 apiece. Ryan Anderson added 12 points and 13 rebounds, and the Hornets hit 20 of 23 free throws to get the win even though Davis was nursing a mild concussion.

Luol Deng had 19 points and eight rebounds for Chicago. Nate Robinson scored 15, and Marco Belinelli added 13 against his former team, but the Bulls shot 33 percent in this one after hitting just under 64 percent of their shots the previous night in an easy win over Cleveland. It was a particularly rough night for Richard Hamilton and Carlos Boozer, who shot a combined 3 for 18 and each finished with four points after scoring 19 apiece against the Cavaliers.

The Hornets trailed by seven in the second quarter and led by 10 in the third but had to hang on down the stretch, with Robinson making it as tough as he could on them.

He scored all but four of his points in the fourth to help keep the Bulls in it, but they ultimately came up short.

His jumper with 1:16 left made it 81-77, and Chicago had a chance to make it a one-possession game after Taj Gibson blocked Smith. Instead, Belinelli missed a 3.

Smith hit two free throws with 53.5 seconds left. Roger Mason added two more to make it 85-77, and the Hornets prevailed because they didn't back down without their prized rookie.

"We don't get a lot of credit or notoriety for being a physical team, but that's something we've prided ourselves on since I've been here, was to play a physical style of basketball, legally," coach Monty Williams said. "I don't think we out-worked them, I just think the ball came our way a few times and it was just a major battle in that paint. Anytime you play against Chicago, a team that (Tom Thibodeau) is gonna coach, you know you're gonna play a team that is gonna hit you right in the mouth."

He had to be feeling better after this one. Before the game, though, he made it clear he wasn't thrilled with the NBA.

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