MIAMI -- Dorell Wright is getting his opportunity this preseason. So far, so good.
"I think I'm doing a good job of just playing the game, not making too many mistakes and just doing what I have to do -- rebound, defend and things like that," Wright said.
Wright -- a little-used player in his first two seasons who hopes to earn a spot in Miami's regular rotation -- played a game-high 31 minutes, shooting 3-of-5 from the floor.
All 10 of his rebounds were on the defensive end, and he added two steals and two blocks.
"He made some very good plays," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "He still has a long way to go but I think he has a package there that could be very versatile for us."
Jannero Pargo had 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting for New Orleans, which had six players in double figures. Linton Johnson and Desmond Mason had 15 points apiece, while Tyson Chandler, Rasual Butler and Chris Paul each scored 10 for the Hornets -- who are 1-2 in the preseason.
Pargo hit a 3-pointer with 3:27 left to put the Hornets up 99-97, then added a layup after a Heat turnover on the next possession. But Kapono hit a 3-pointer to draw Miami within one, then had back-to-back baskets -- the last a bank from the right wing with 38.6 seconds left to put the Heat up for good.
"I don't think there were many positives tonight," Hornets assistant coach Darrell Walker said. "We gave up 41 free throws. There were a lot of fouls and a lot of hacking out there."
Wade played 24 minutes -- all 12 in each of the first and third quarters -- and finished with five rebounds and five assists, while shooting 7-for-13 from the floor.
Shaquille O'Neal played only the first six minutes, leaving with six points on 3-for-4 shooting, two turnovers and three fouls.
"I got in foul trouble and Pat told me just to get some rest," O'Neal said. "Now's the time."
The Heat shot 49 percent, while committing 17 turnovers and 25 fouls. New Orleans hit 44 percent of its shots.
It was Miami's first home game since winning Game 5 of last season's NBA finals. Predictably, this one didn't exactly have a championship feel. Most seats were empty, as they typically are in the preseason.
"The fans here have been very hospitable, very, very supportive," O'Neal said. "Even tonight, it got semi-loud at times."
Wright started in place of Antoine Walker, the only Heat regular to be given the night off. It's expected that Wade, who has been bothered by a hand injury, won't play Friday when Miami visits Memphis -- part of a four-game, six-night stretch to end the preseason.