Hornets Try to Stay Undefeated at Home as They Host the Wolves
Posted Nov 24 2006 10:25AM
NBA.com Daily Confidential
The New Orleans Hornets look to bounce back from one their worst games of the season and try to extend their home winning streak to five games Friday when they return to the Ford Center in Oklahoma City to host the Minnesota Timberwolves.
New Orleans (8-4) shot a season-low 40 percent in its 92-83 loss Wednesday to Phoenix to end its four-game winning streak.
The Hornets hit nine of 18 shots in the first quarter but only 25 of their final 67, and scored just 13 points in the third quarter.
After making 11-of-19 (57.9 percent) 3-pointers and registering a season-high 25 assists in its 101-86 victory Tuesday over Miami, New Orleans hit just 1-of-14 (7.1 percent) from beyond the arc and matched a franchise low with only seven assists one night later.
``We just seemed like we didn't have any energy tonight,'' Hornets coach Byron Scott said. ``We just played flat tonight. It was probably the worst game we've played energy-wise.''
New Orleans has played with plenty of energy at its home courts this season, where it is 4-0. The Hornets won their first home game of the season at New Orleans Arena, and have won their last three at the Ford Center.
They have not opened a season 5-0 at home, since winning their first 11 of the 2002-03 season.
Peja Stojakovic averages a team-high 18.6 points overall, but is scoring 24.8 points per game at home. He is shooting 50.8 percent at home, compared to 40.5 percent on the road.
Stojakovic and Chris Paul led New Orleans in its 99-96 win over Minnesota (4-6) last Saturday, with Paul scoring a season-high 35 points on 12-of-18 shooting and Stojakovic making a 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds to play for the winning basket.
Paul averaged 18 points on just 34.3 percent shooting in two games against Minnesota as a rookie last season, while Stojakovic averaged 11.7 points on 32.4 percent shooting in three games.
New Orleans has won just four of its last 15 against Minnesota, and has not won consecutive games over the Timberwolves in the same season since 1999-2000.
While the Hornets are coming off their worst game of the season, the Timberwolves are coming off their best.
Minnesota shot a season-best 52.8 percent from the field and had five players in double figures in its 107-89 victory Wednesday over New York.
``It always feels great when you work on things to finally start putting it together. Hopefully we can carry this over,'' said Mike James, who scored 16 points.
The Timberwolves are the fourth-lowest scoring team in the league, averaging 93.7 points, but are 3-0 when they top 100 points.
Ricky Davis had game highs of 21 points and seven assists Wednesday, but was limited to 11 points against New Orleans last week after averaging 27 points on 50.8 percent shooting in three games against them last season.
Kevin Garnett scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting and had a game-high nine rebounds against the Knicks. He had 22 points and a season-high 17 rebounds against the Hornets last week and has averaged 19.7 points and 10.8 rebounds in 24 lifetime games against them.
Minnesota is just 1-4 on the road this season, and has won just two of its last 21 away from the Target Center.
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