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News » Hornets-76ers Preview

Hornets-76ers Preview

Hornets-76ers Preview
Thanks to some late-game heroics, the New Orleans Hornets are in position for their longest winning streak of 2008-09.

The Hornets seek their fifth consecutive victory overall and a fourth straight win against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night, when they meet at the Wachovia Center.

New Orleans (36-22) picked up its sixth win in eight contests since the All-Star break Sunday night, 99-96 at New Jersey. David West scored 14 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, while Chris Paul's go-ahead jump shot with 40 seconds remaining helped the Hornets to their fourth four-game winning streak of the season.

"We made some extra-effort plays," said West, who is averaging 28.5 points and 10.5 rebounds during the winning streak. "We knew this was going to be a tough game for us, the way New Jersey had been playing. We wanted to come in here and try to steal one. Guys stepped up and made some big plays for us down the stretch defensively."

New Orleans is now on the verge of its first five-game winning run since March 30-April 6, and its last three victories have been decided by a combined seven points. Tyson Chandler tipped in a shot with 3 seconds left to help the Hornets edge visiting Milwaukee 95-94 on Friday night, two days after West's two free throws with 6 seconds to play sealed Wednesday's 90-87 home win over Detroit.

The Hornets, however, have turned in more decisive results against the Sixers lately, winning the last three matchups by an average of 18.3 points. Paul, who finished with 14 points and nine assists against New Jersey, scored a game-high 27 points in a 101-86 home victory on Jan. 26.

Philadelphia (29-29) has lost five of seven since the All-Star break, and will need to end its late-game struggles in order to defeat New Orleans at home for the fifth time in six meetings. After nearly relinquishing a 22-point lead in Friday's 108-103 win at New York, the Sixers squandered a 10-point fourth-quarter advantage in their 106-100 loss to visiting Orlando on Saturday night.

Philadelphia was outscored 36-20 in the final quarter - the fifth time in six games it has allowed at least 30 points in the fourth.

"We just have to lock down defensively," Thaddeus Young, who had 18 points, told the Sixers' official Web site. "We just have to go out there and play it out until the end of the game."

That's exactly what Andre Miller did, scoring 10 of his team's last 11 points to finish with 23. He also had eight rebounds and seven assists.

Miller is averaging 21.5 points and shooting 52.9 percent in his last six contests, and has scored 17.9 per game in his last seven against the Hornets franchise.

Paul - scoring a team-high 21.5 points per game - has been held to 23 total on 33.3 percent shooting his last two games. He has averaged 15.0 points and 8.5 assists in six lifetime games against Philadelphia.

West did not play in the first game between the teams due to back spasms.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 2, 2009


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