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Posted Dec 9 2006 2:40AM
The Golden State Warriors weren't expected to be a premier defensive team. Their recent slump on offense, however, is much more surprising.
The Warriors look to snap a season-high four-game losing streak when they host the New Orleans Hornets at Oracle Arena on Saturday.
Golden State (9-10) is allowing an average of 117.5 points during its losing streak, but has failed to score more than 90 in each of its last two games.
The Warriors rank among the NBA's worst teams in scoring defense, giving up 106.2 points per game yet are one of the league's top scoring teams, averaging 105.0 points per contest.
Golden State shot 39.0 percent in a 118-90 loss to Houston on Tuesday night. It was the Warriors' second-worst shooting game of the season - they shot 38.4 percent in a loss at Utah on Nov. 4.
``We just don't have it,'' Golden State guard Baron Davis said. ``We haven't been playing with any passion. We have to be a hard-nosed team and that is not happening. We're not a team right now and that has to change.''
Half of Golden State's losses this season have been by double digits. Three of them have come on the road and have been by at least 24 points.
Now the Warriors head home where they are 8-5 and still trying to give coach Don Nelson his 1,200th career win. With his next victory, Nelson would join all-time leader Lenny Wilkens as the only coaches to reach that milestone.
Monta Ellis led the Warriors with 19 points and Davis added 18 against the Rockets. Davis leads the team with 19.8 points and 7.7 assists per game despite missing four games with a strained rib cage muscle.
New Orleans (9-9) has lost six of its last seven after a four-game winning streak including a 94-74 defeat at Seattle on Friday causing coach Byron Scott to rip into his players for their lack of effort and focus.
``It's getting redundant,'' he said after the Hornets recorded a season-low in points scored. ``We are getting two or three games where we come out and get great effort and then we get a few games where we come out like we did tonight.
I went on a mini-rampage in there and I'm not happy. I'm not happy with the effort.''
The Hornets are shooting 43.1 percent from the field this season, but 40.7 percent during their 1-6 slide.
``Three of four games we play hard and three or four games we take it off,'' Scott said. ``If that's the case, then somebody should be giving their money back.''
Chris Paul led the Hornets with 16 points and six assists. The reigning rookie of the year is averaging 28.0 points and 10.5 assists in two games this season versus the Warriors, and has three career double-doubles in five career games against them.
Paul had 34 points - one off his career high - and 10 assists in a 121-116 road loss to the Warriors on Nov. 9. Davis finished with 36 points, nine assists and three steals for Golden State.
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