NBA Basketball: Philadelphia Sixers at New Orleans Hornets – Hornets Favored
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The New Orleans Hornets look for their seventh consecutive home victory when they face the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night in the teams’ second meeting in nine days.
New Orleans (19-25) lost at Philadelphia 102-96 on Jan. 23, as Kyle Korver scored 25 points and Andre Miller had 17 and 11 assists to lead five Sixers who scored in double figures.
Philadelphia (14-32) followed up that win with a double-overtime victory at Cleveland the next night, but the Sixers dropped two of their next three. On Wednesday, they’ll be trying to complete a three-game road trip with a winning record when they take on a New Orleans club that’s looking to improve to 4-0 on its season-high five-game homestand.
The Hornets, who last won seven straight at home from Jan. 30-Feb. 15, 2006, defeated Portland 103-91 on Monday for their third consecutive win overall.
"We had a great team effort throughout the whole game," Hornets backup point guard Jannero Pargo said. "We’re going into games right now feeling like we can win and knowing that we can win. We’re going out there and we’re playing like that. It’s just giving us a little bit of an edge, a little bit of a chip on our shoulder just to go out and play well."
Pargo scored 12 consecutive fourth-quarter points and was one of six Hornets to finish in double digits with 16.
David West contributed 21 points and 10 rebounds after struggling in the previous three games with 23 total points and 21 boards.
"David (West) looked a lot better tonight than he has the last couple of games," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "Tonight, it was a total team effort. That is something that we have to continue to do. We are getting better and healthier as a team."
The improved Hornets are 7-3 in their last 10 games, with all three defeats coming on the road – including the loss to Philadelphia. They have been impressive in the victories, holding opponents to 87.6 points per game and winning by an average of almost 10 points a contest.
The Hornets, though, remain last in the NBA in scoring with 90.9 points per game.
The recent success has also come without Chris Paul, but New Orleans’ starting point guard returned to practice for the first time in a month Tuesday to test his sprained right ankle. Paul has been sidelined since severely spraining the ankle when he came down on the foot of Seattle’s Johan Petro on Dec. 26.
“I would love to play tomorrow, but Coach said to come to shootaround in the morning and I’ll see how it feels, and then we’ll talk from there,” Paul said. “If I don’t play tomorrow, hopefully I’ll definitely be able to play by Friday.”
Paul leads the team with 18.4 points and 9.0 assists a game, and the Hornets have gone 8-9 without him.
New Orleans has defeated Philadelphia four straight times at home. The 76ers will be looking to stop that streak as they try to rebound from a 105-84 loss at Houston on Monday.
"We didn’t move the ball and they got easy shots all night," coach Maurice Cheeks said. "They played very good defense and our defense wasn’t where we wanted it.
"Everything we did didn’t work and everything they did worked."
Andre Iguodala scored a team-high 19 points for the Sixers as he continued his strong play. The swingman has averaged 23.2 points over his last six games and is having the best season of his three-year career, averaging 17.1 points, 5.0 assists and 5.4 rebounds.
Iguodala scored 20 points in the first matchup with New Orleans.
The Sixers open a season-high seven-game homestand Friday against Golden State.
By: Marc Young – theSpread.com – Email Us
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