Eric Gordon scored 24 points as the New Orleans Hornets rallied to a 98-95 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats who notched their 18th straight National Basketball Association loss.
The Bobcats are nearing their franchise-worst 23-game losing streak set at the end of the 2011-12 season.
The Bobcats blew a 21-point lead, 54-33, that they accumulated with two minutes, 57 seconds left in the half on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s layup at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte.
“We stopped being as aggressive in the second half as the first,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “We weren’t attacking.”
The Hornets started to chip away at the Bobcats’ lead, taking command with just over five minutes remaining.
Gordon had arthroscopic right knee surgery and was playing in his first game since April 22. He was 5 of 13 from the field and 12 of 14 from the free-throw line.
“I felt pretty good; I was kind of surprised,” Gordon told reporters. “Now I’m just going to try to get better and better from here. I wouldn’t have had a chance to help this team earlier with my knee, but I’m glad everything is working out now.”
Hornets coach Monty Williams said Gordon exceeded his expectations in his first game back from surgery.
“I certainly thought he would be able to help guys and make guys better,” Williams said. “But I didn’t think he’d score 24 points. His defense will get better the more he gets in shape.”
Ryan Anderson scored 19 points and Greivis Vasquez added 16 points for the Hornets (7-23).
Kidd-Gilchrist led the Bobcats with 22 points and Gerald Henderson contributed 19 points.
New Orleans is in last place in the five-team Western Conference’s Southwest Division, 15 1/2 games behind San Antonio. Charlotte is in fourth place in the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division, 14 games behind Miami.