The Hornets' injury epidemic gave diminutive Dan Dickau a chance to show he could play in the NBA. His latest performance made him a crowd favorite among New Orleans' victory-starved...

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NEW ORLEANS — The Hornets’ injury epidemic gave diminutive Dan Dickau a chance to show he could play in the NBA.

His latest performance made him a crowd favorite among New Orleans’ victory-starved fans.

Dickau, in his third year out of Gonzaga, scored a career-best 23 points — including a four-point play on a 32-foot buzzer beater as he was fouled — and the Hornets (2-19) snapped an 11-game skid and won their first home game of the season, 98-89 over the Golden State Warriors last night.

Dickau’s long heave at the end of the third quarter was only one of several timely baskets, and the 6-foot-1, 190-pound guard’s scrappy end-to-end play had the crowd on its feet often.

“I don’t look like your typical NBA player, so I get a lot of people that pull for me because of that,” Dickau said. “I’m getting a chance to play now and I’m trying to make the most of it. We start winning a little bit more and it’s definitely going to be a great experience.”

A back injury to Baron Davis five games into the season, combined with a 1-13 start, prompted the Hornets to trade veteran guard Darrell Armstrong to Dallas in exchange for Dickau. After scoring zero points in three minutes the day after the trade, Dickau has scored in double figures in five of six games, averaging 15 points in that stretch.

NBA will announce security recommendations next month

The NBA will make recommendations to improve security in arenas by the end of January following last month’s brawl between fans and players in Detroit, commissioner David Stern said.

“Nothing profound, just sort of best practices,” Stern said in an interview in New York, where he announced a contract extension with Russell Corp. to provide the league with Spalding basketballs and Huffy backboards.

Stern declined to give specifics on the security recommendations, although he did say the NBA won’t ban fans from games as European soccer’s governing body did last week following racist abuse by followers of an Italian team.

“I’ve been commissioner for 26,000 games and we had one well-publicized incident,” Stern said. “There were four players out of 450 and it involved a dozen fans out of 22,000. We know how to deal with that.”


• Lakers star Kobe Bryant wants to apologize to former teammate Shaquille O’Neal for mentioning his name during a police interview last year. Bryant appeared on ESPN’s “Pardon The Interruption” and “NBA Shootaround” and said he never meant to bring up O’Neal’s name when he was being interrogated by police officers. The interview came after a woman accused Bryant of raping her. “I would apologize for any harm that I brought him and his family,” Bryant said of O’Neal. Miami will play the Lakers on Christmas Day. Bryant wants to speak to O’Neal then.

• Point guard Jason Williams was activated by the Memphis Grizzlies before last night’s game against the Chicago Bulls and they placed rookie Antonio Burks on the injured list. Williams missed six games because of a sprained right ankle. Burks, in his first year out of Memphis, broke his right pinkie in Monday’s 92-86 loss to Cleveland, and had surgery yesterday. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

• Boston placed veteran forward Tom Gugliotta on the injured list and activated second-round draft pick Justin Reed.

• Houston activated point guard Tyronn Lue (sore knee) before and placed Reece Gaines on the injured list.