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News » Warriors-Hornets Preview 2009-01-29

Warriors-Hornets Preview 2009-01-29

Warriors-Hornets Preview 2009-01-29
The New Orleans Hornets have been able to lean on Chris Paul in the wake of injuries to two of their starters, but their reserves showed in their last game that they can be counted on as well.

The Hornets look to win their fifth straight at home Friday when they host the Golden State Warriors

New Orleans (28-14) has won five of its last six, including two in a row despite playing without David West (back spasms) and Tyson Chandler (ankle sprain) over much of that stretch. West missed his fifth straight game and Chandler his fourth in the Hornets' 94-81 win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

West, who isn't expected back until next week, is New Orleans' second-leading scorer with 20.0 points per game, leaving the Hornets a big offensive hole to replace. Paul averaged 26.5 points, 11.0 assists and 6.8 rebounds in the first four games without West, but he struggled Wednesday, finishing with 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

Peja Stojakovic stepped up with a season-high 26 points, but it was New Orleans' bench that made the biggest impact. Led by Devin Brown's 18 points, the reserves scored 42 points.

"Sometimes there's nights like that and we had to do other things," said James Posey, who had six points and a team-high nine rebounds. "Chris was still creating for other guys. Peja and then Devin came in and played big for us as well. We worked a little harder on the defensive end and were able to get stops and rebounds and push the ball a little bit."

The Hornets' bench came into the game ranked 27th in the NBA in scoring, averaging 25.3 points. Brown, who hadn't played in the previous three games, came in averaging 5.1 points. He received the extra playing time because the already short-handed Hornets lost Morris Peterson to a sprained foot in the first half.

"That's one thing about this team, the opportunity right now for guys to come in and contribute," Posey said. "That's what guys did tonight and that's what we're going to need until we get David and Tyson back."

The Hornets, who improved to 16-5 at home, now look to take advantage of the struggling Warriors (14-32). Golden State has lost three of four and nine of 13.

The Warriors are coming off a 117-93 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday as they failed to score 100 points for the first time in 15 games. Golden State has one of the highest scoring offenses (107.0 points per game) in the NBA and the worst scoring defense (111.8 ppg), and was outscored the 69-47 in the first half.

"I think the biggest problem today was effort," said Stephen Jackson, who scored 25 points. "I just wished we would've gone down fighting. ... We didn't do anything on defense to get them out of their comfort zone and they just made all their shots."

Jamal Crawford returned after missing three games with a bruised right hamstring and went 1-of-6 from the field to finish with three points and four turnovers. Crawford had been averaging 26.1 points in the eight games prior to the injury.

The Hornets beat the Warriors 108-103 at Oracle Arena on Oct. 29.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 29, 2009


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