|NBA: New Orleans Hornets at Portland Blazers Preview & Picks|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Wednesday, 07 November 2007 10:00|
Still Seeking Victory
The Hornets look to continue their hot start Wednesday night when they face the winless Trail Blazers in the season's first game at the Rose Garden.
Oddsmakers from Bodog have made New Orleans -3.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 203 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 89% of bets for this game have been placed on New Orleans -3.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
New Orleans (4-0) has matched the best start in franchise history, which it set last season. The most lopsided of this season's four wins was a 113-93 victory at home over the Blazers on Friday night in which the Hornets shot a season-best 56 percent (44-for-78) from the field.
That was the second of three straight losses to open this season for Portland (0-3), which is off to its worst start since dropping its first four games in 1986-87. The Hornets entered the league two years later as an expansion team in Charlotte.
New Orleans got two outstanding individual performances Tuesday night, as Peja Stojakovic made a franchise-record 10 3-pointers and Chris Paul established another team mark with 21 assists in a 118-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Stojakovic went 10-for-13 from beyond the arc to surpass the Hornets record of eight 3-pointers, set by David Wesley in 2002. Stojakovic finished with 36 points to increase his team-best season average to 19.5.
Paul, meanwhile, enjoyed his third double-digit assist game of the season. The former club mark for assists was 19 by Muggsy Bogues in 1989.
"The way we played tonight on the offensive end, with Chris Paul moving the ball and spacing the court, it looked easy,'' Stojakovic said. "Securing the defensive boards and running was really important for us.
Paul is averaging 18.8 points, 12.5 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game. He led seven Hornets in double figures against Portland last week, recording 19 points to go with six assists.
Stojakovic, Paul and David West (17.5 PPG) pace a New Orleans team that is averaging 107.0 points and shooting better than 45 percent from 3-point range.
Portland, meanwhile, has yet to reach 100 points and is coming off its worst offensive effort of the young season. The Blazers shot 40 percent (31-for-76) from the field and committed 18 turnovers in an 89-80 loss to Houston on Saturday night.
They fell behind 25-12 in the first quarter against the Rockets after trailing by 10 through one quarter against the Hornets.
"We need to get off to a better start," said Blazers guard Brandon Roy, who scored 23 points to match his total from the season's first meeting with New Orleans. "We can't dig such a big hole."
Roy will have a new starting backcourt mate Wednesday, according to Portland's official Web site, with Steve Blake replacing Jarrett Jack in a move intended to help contain Paul on the defensive end of the floor.
The Hornets have won nine of 13 meetings between these clubs since the start of 2003-04.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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