NEW ORLEANS—Patience is a virtue, right?
The Bulls waited 23 years to return to the Big Easy to play basketball. Kind of like them, then, to wait until the third quarter to collapse Friday night.
This time, a third-quarter turnover fest erased a halftime lead and enabled the Hornets to cruise to a 105-87 victory before 14,356 at New Orleans Arena.
At least the Bulls are consistent. They scored 14 points in each of the decisive quarters, allowing 42 in Milwaukee and 34 against New Orleans.
And as in their last visit here, a 111-102 loss on Feb. 23, 1979, the Bulls came from ahead to lose. This time, Pete Maravich's jersey was hanging in the rafters rather than blazing down the court.
The Bulls, shooting 53.8 percent, grabbed a 52-49 halftime lead. But New Orleans ripped off a 21-6 third-quarter run as David Wesley scored nine of his 22 points in the spurt.
The Bulls committed eight turnovers in the quarter and finished with more turnovers (20) than assists (16).
"Silliness," coach Bill Cartwright said. "And they came down and took advantage."
Baron Davis waited, too, but only 14 days. Angered by what he perceived as excessive celebrating when the Bulls beat the Hornets in their home opener Nov. 1, Davis got revenge to the tune of 22 points and 12 assists.
"I'm not going to say they mocked us, but it was a lot of action that I saw," Davis said the day before the game.
Jalen Rose's 23 points led the Bulls, for whom four starters sat for the entire fourth quarter. Cartwright played all of his reserves, including Marcus Fizer for the first time in three games.
"It felt good to get out there and help my team," said Fizer, who hit all three of his shots in nine minutes.
Donyell Marshall shot 1-for-6 in 16 minutes and had three turnovers.
Last season, paltry attendance in Charlotte helped nullify home-court advantage and make the Hornets the only NBA team with a better record on the road than at home.
Now, the Hornets are a franchise-best 6-0 at home. "Hopefully, Bourbon Street will be a home-court advantage for us," Hornets coach Paul Silas said.
The Bulls avoided those pitfalls when they arrived in town Thursday. They couldn't avoid the Hornets' buzzsaw on Friday.