WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Hilton Armstrong scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the New Orleans Hornets rallied from a five-point deficit to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 111-100 on Friday night.
Peja Stojakovic added 22 points as five players finished in double figures for the Hornets. Chris Paul -- making his first appearance at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum since starring for Wake Forest from 2001-2003 -- added 14 points and 13 assists. Rasual Butler scored 18 points and Melvin Ely 11.
"We have a great group of guys here that are excited about the season," said Paul. "It will be a challenge to make the playoffs, but we have the right mix to make it."
Raymond Felton scored 24 points for the Bobcats, who closed out the exhibition season with four straight losses. Jason Richardson had 22 points, Gerald Wallace 17 and rookie Jared Dudley 10.
"With the preseason, you're basically just trying to get better," Felton said. "It's about winning, no question, but if you lose, it doesn't count. Starting on Friday, that's when it's for real."
The Bobcats open at home against Milwaukee on Nov. 2.
New Orleans trailed 91-86 with 9:33 left in the final period, but Armstrong keyed a 23-4 run that put the Hornets in command. Butler's layup with 7:07 left put the Hornets ahead, and Julian Wright's jumper with 2:13 remaining put them up 109-95, New Orleans' biggest lead of the game.
"I thought we were better on both ends of the court," New Orleans head coach Byron Scott said. "We still have a lot of room for improvement on the defensive end, but offensively ... we moved the ball and got open shots."
Charlotte trailed 53-46 at the half, but made its own run late in the third quarter to take the lead. Ryan Hollins scored seven of the Bobcats' last 11 points in the quarter to put them ahead 86-82.
Paul, who was an All-American at Wake Forest before going fourth in the 2005 draft, was honored by city officials before the start of Friday's game, temporarily renaming the street that runs alongside Joel Coliseum "Chris Paul Way."