In Paul We Trust

Chris Paul's scoring ability has helped the New Orleans Hornets develop from a lottery team into a title contender.

When the third-year point guard isn't scoring, however, he's still been helping his club win with his passing.

After leading the team to a victory despite his season-low point total, Paul looks to help the Hornets win their third straight Tuesday when they visit the injury-plagued Chicago Bulls.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made New Orleans -6.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 191 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 68% of bets for this game have been placed on New Orleans -6.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Paul leads the Hornets (34-15) in scoring with 20.4 points per game, thanks in part to his efficiency from the field (47.5 percent) and free-throw line (87.6) - both career highs and among the top percentages for point guards.

Paul's field-goal percentage took a hit Saturday when he shot 1-for-10 and scored a season-low two points. The first-time All-Star, however, made up for it by recording 16 assists to lead New Orleans to a 112-99 victory over Memphis.

"We've got the ability to score whether he's hitting or not," said Hornets forward David West, who will also make his first All-Star appearance thanks in part to Paul's ability to draw defenses and get the ball to the open man. "You've just got to give him opportunities to find you and he'll find you."

New Orleans forward Peja Stojakovic has been equally impressed with the play of his point guard, who's second in the league with 10.9 assists per game.

"He played an amazing game and as I've said many times, he's getting better and better," Stojakovic said Saturday. "He's so mature for his age. He's leading this team in the right direction."

Stojakovic had 26 points on 10-for-19 shooting Saturday, and West added 33 points on 13-of-20 from the field as the Hornets improved to 6-4 when Paul scores fewer than 15 points. They're 3-7 when he's held to eight assists or fewer.

New Orleans, one of the NBA's most surprising contenders this season, will be trying to avoid its fourth straight loss to Chicago. The Bulls haven't won four in a row in the series since a five-game run against the Charlotte Hornets from Nov. 15, 1996-Nov. 14, 1997.

Extending their run against the Hornets could be a challenge for this season's Bulls (20-30), who have been decimated by injuries after winning 49 games and advancing to the second round of the playoffs last spring.

Luol Deng (Achilles'), Ben Gordon (wrist) and Kirk Hinrich (bruised ribs) missed Saturday's 97-87 loss at Utah. Chris Duhon had 11 points and eight assists filling in for Hinrich, while Thabo Sefolosha had a career-high 22 points for the second time in three games, but Chicago lost for the sixth time in nine contests.

"We are a little short-handed, but the guys that played, played hard," Duhon said. "They just wore us out a little bit at the end. When you are used to playing with your big guns all the time, it is easy to fall into the trap because you miss them."

Deng and Gordon aren't expected to return before this weekend's All-Star game, but Hinrich could play Tuesday.

The Bulls head into the break after Thursday's home game against Miami, while the Hornets play their first-half finale Wednesday at Milwaukee before returning to New Orleans to host All-Star weekend.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Will Fox be a top-5 pick? With the 2017 NBA Drafttakes place later tonight. Where can we expect one of the top prospects, De’Aaron Fox, to land tonight?
Thumbnail Fultz to go to the 76ers? The Boston Celticshave traded out of the No. 1 pick. The Philadelphia 76ersnow hold the top pick once again. Is it a slam dunk who they will take in the NBA...
Thumbnail 2018 NBA Finals Odds After dominating the 2017 NBA Playoffs, will anyone keep the Golden State Warriors from winning the NBA Finals again...
Thumbnail Stephen Curry Game 5 Props Will Stephen Curry bounce back from a poor showing in Game 4 when the Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals tonight at 9PM...
Thumbnail Will James get another triple-double? Will LeBron James add to his NBA Finals record of nine triple-doubles when the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals...

NBA Headlines

  • BOSTON (AP) The Boston Celtics have selected forward Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night.
    The selection comes after the Celtics traded the top pick to Philadel...
  • PHOENIX (AP) The Phoenix Suns selected small forward Josh Jackson of Kansas with the fourth overall pick of the NBA draft Thursday.
    Jackson brings athleticism, energy and a strong defensive a...
  • SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento Kings selected Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox on Thursday night with the fifth pick in the NBA draft.
    Sacramento had a glaring need for a point guard...
  • MILWAUKEE (AP) Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe has exercised his $17.8 million player option to stay with the team for 2017-18.
    The 6-foot-11 Monroe had until Thursday night to make his de...
  • NEW YORK (AP) The Philadelphia 76ers selected guard Markelle Fultz on Thursday night with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.
    The Los Angeles Lakers followed by taking Lonzo Ball as the draft st...

NBA Team Pages