Al Harrington chipped in 20 points and 10 boards for the Knicks, who ended a four-game road trip at 1-3 but still only have three wins in their last 13 tries. Wilson Chandler added 19 points and Chris Duhon 10 with nine assists.
New York's Eddy Curry was scratched prior to tip-off due to a sore right knee, an injury that has kept him out for all but one game this season. He is listed as day-to-day.
David West tallied 25 points and 14 rebounds for the Hornets, who have alternated wins and losses for the past six games. Chris Paul notched 23 points, seven helpers, five rebounds and a pair of steals in defeat. Rasual Butler ended with 18 points and seven boards.
Down by nine late in the game, Butler drained a three and, following a Paul steal, dropped in a reverse layup to cut the New Orleans' deficit to 86-82 with 3:46 showing on the clock.
The teams traded baskets and two free throws from Duhon just inside the final minute made it a six-point affair, but Butler's three from the left wing cut it to 96-93.
New York called a timeout with 34.1 ticks left -- and following the stoppage -- Harrington nailed a three-pointer for a 99-93 cushion.
New Orleans cut it to four on a West putback layup, but the Hornets failed to get any closer.
The clubs played to a 23-23 tie after the first quarter and the Knicks opened a 47-40 lead at the break.
The Hornets found themselves trailing by only four, 63-59, following Paul's three-point play with 2:45 left in the third frame before New York went up by six heading into the final 12 minutes.
A jumper and a three-pointer from Harrington bookended a Nate Robinson trey that opened a 77-63 lead for the visitors with just over 10 minutes left to play.
Moments later, Antonio Daniels' trey cut the Hornets' deficit to 81-72.