Feb. 15, 2011
NEW ORLEANS (33-23) vs.
Coverage begins at 7 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
OAKLAND (AP) -- The New Orleans Hornets seemingly couldn't miss when they visited Golden State last month, turning in their best shooting effort of the season while extending their winning streak to 10.
Right now, the Hornets will take any victory they can get.
New Orleans has dropped to fifth in the Western Conference with seven losses in nine games, a slump it'll look to break out of Tuesday night when it visits the suddenly surging Golden State Warriors.
The Hornets (33-23) shot 62.2 percent and scored 60 points in the paint in a 112-103 win at Oracle Arena on Jan. 26 that pushed them into third place in the West, behind only San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers.
NEWS: NBA scoreboard
During its recent downturn, New Orleans has allowed 99.7 points - 8.5 more than it surrendered while allowing the fewest points in the league through 47 games.
The Hornets led visiting Chicago by 11 at halftime on Saturday, but surrendered 55 second-half points in a 97-88 loss that left coach Monty Williams seething.
"I didn't see any effort from a number of positions. ... For the most part we just didn't play smart tonight," Williams said. "They put pressure on us and we pretty much just backed down. There is no other way to put it.
"To me, that was like a playoff game and we just didn't respond."
New Orleans' defense hasn't been good lately, but Chris Paul hasn't offered much help on the offensive end. He's shot a woeful 30.6 percent over his last three games, averaging 13.0 points and 8.0 assists.
"My rhythm is off. I'm missing everything I shoot at the rim. I've just got to keep shooting," Paul said. "I've got to somehow, some way, find a rhythm and find a way to get some easy baskets."
A visit to Golden State, where he shot 7 of 9 last month and finished with 18 points and 17 assists, might be just what Paul needs. The four-time All-Star has averaged 24.7 points and shot 54.9 percent in nine games in Oakland - his best numbers against any Western opponent.
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The Warriors (24-29), however, have hardly been pushovers lately during a home-heavy stretch. They've won five of seven overall and five of six at home, with Monta Ellis' 33 points leading the way in a 100-94 victory over Oklahoma City on Sunday night.
Stephen Curry chipped in 23 points and 13 assists while David Lee had 23 points and 19 rebounds. Golden State outrebounded the Thunder 47-33, just the 16th time its edged its opponent on the boards.
REWIND: Warriors own the glass in win over Thunder
"I think you just have to keep emphasizing rebounding," coach Keith Smart said. "That's something we said from the beginning of the year. We dropped off a little bit here and there, but we're capable of doing that when everyone does their part of rebounding."
While the backcourt of Ellis and Curry certainly gets the Warriors going, Lee's contributions have been immense. They're 14-9 when he records a double-double.
Golden State was outrebounded 35-28 in the loss to the Hornets last month, but it could have an easier time Tuesday with Emeka Okafor out. The big man hasn't played this month because of a hip strain, and the Hornets have been outrebounded in their past four losses - including a dismal 47-26 margin against Chicago.