Raptors Seek First Road Win as They Visit the Hornets
Posted Nov 28 2006 11:53AM
NBA.com Daily Confidential
The New Orleans Hornets look to snap out of a shooting slump and try to hand the Toronto Raptors their 15th straight road loss when the teams meet at the Ford Center on Tuesday.
New Orleans (8-6) was without three-time All-Star Peja Stojakovic as it lost to Dallas for the 18th straight time, 85-73 on Saturday. The loss was the Hornets' third in a row after winning four straight games.
Stojakovic sat out with a lower back strain, and David Westmissed his seventh straight game with a strained right forearm. The two players are combining to average more than 35 points per game.
``Those two are our large scorers from the outside,'' center Tyson Chandler said. ``When we don't have that threat, teams will pack the paint on you.''
West could be back for this game, while Stojakovic is not expected back until Friday.
The Hornets scored a season low against the Mavericks, and are averaging only 78.3 points during their three-game losing skid. They are shooting just 36.6 percent from the field and have made only 7 of 41 3-pointers (17.1 percent) during the slide.
``In the three losses we've had, it's come down to not making shots,'' said guard Chris Paul, who scored 19 points on just 5-of-14 shooting against the Mavericks. ``All around the board, everybody, one through five.''
The Hornets will look to get back on track against a Raptors (4-9) club which has not won a road game since a 114-109 victory at New York on March 21.
Toronto is 4-2 at home this season, but is 0-7 on the road and has lost 14 straight away from the Air Canada Centre. After this contest, the Raptors travel to Dallas to face the Mavericks on Wednesday.
The Raptors have also lost their last two meetings against New Orleans.
Toronto is coming off a 92-83 home win over Indiana on Sunday, in which it outscored the Pacers 32-17 in the first quarter and never trailed.
The Raptors got a solid performance from rookie Andrea Bargnani, who scored 14 points, his second time in double figures this season.
The top overall pick from the 2006 draft is averaging 11.5 points in 25 minutes in his last four games, after averaging only 4.1 points in nine minutes in his first nine games as a pro.
``He's the first pick for a reason,'' said reserve point guard Jose Calderon, who matched his season highs with 13 points and five assists against the Pacers. ``He's a great player. We don't have a lot of 7-footers like him, that shoot the ball like he does or take the ball to the basket like that.''
Chris Bosh scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, but once again struggled to find his shot. Bosh, who has been slowed by a right knee injury, went 6-for-18 from the field after going 2-for-9 and scoring a season-low 11 points in a 97-93 loss at Atlanta on Friday.
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