Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon made his return to the lineup Saturday night. And for the better part of 24 minutes, he looked as if he’d never been away.

Gordon had 24 points and seven assists, helping the New Orleans Hornets overcome a 21-point first-half deficit and extend the Charlotte Bobcats’ losing streak to 18 games with a 98-95 victory Saturday night.

The Bobcats are one game away from a winless December. They haven’t won since Nov. 24 and are closing in on their franchise-record 23-game losing streak to close the 2011-12 season.

Gordon, who hadn’t played since April 22 following arthroscopic right knee surgery, was 5 of 13 from the field and 12 of 14 from the free throw line. He had two steals and two turnovers.

“I felt pretty good, I was kind of surprised,” Gordon said. “Now I’m just going to try to get better and better from here. I wouldn’t have had a chance to help this team earlier with my knee, but I’m glad everything is working out now.”

Ryan Anderson had 19 points and made a pair of 3-pointers in the final period as the Hornets won for the second time in three games…

“He’s a special player,” Anderson said of Gordon. “There are not a lot of guys like him in the NBA. He hasn’t quit warmed up to be 100 percent comfortable yet with this group on the court, but to come out and take over like that, that is the mark of a special player.”

– Reported by Steve Reed of the Associated Press