NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 29th (All times eastern)
San Antonio Spurs (48-24) at New Orleans Hornets (44-27), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The reeling New Orleans Hornets welcome San Antonio to the Big Easy tonight for a key Southwest Division affair.
The Spurs lead the Southwest by one game over the Houston Rockets, while the Hornets reside in third place, 3 1/2 games behind the leaders.
The Hornets dropped their second straight game in New York on Friday when Al Harrington went 5-for-11 from three-point range for 23 points, helping the Knicks snap a six-game losing streak with a 103-93 victory over New Orleans.
Chris Paul totaled 22 points and 10 assists for New Orleans, which has lost two in a row on the heels of a three-game winning streak. David West chipped in 29 points and Julian Wright 11 with 14 boards for the Hornets, who scored just 44 points in the second half.
James Posey, who finished with seven points, was ejected late in the fourth quarter for throwing the ball at referee Gary Zielinski.
"It's tough, it's tough, but we've been through this situation before and other guys have been stepping up," said Paul after the game. "We can't relax...all those teams are catching us, so we got to pick it up."
New Orleans is currently occupying the seventh slot in the Western Conference playoff standings but is just 2 1/2 games out of the third spot.
The Spurs, meanwhile, earned their third straight win Friday when Tony Parker scored a team-high 18 points and six other Spurs scored in double-figures as San Antonio cruised past the Los Angeles Clippers, 111-98, at the AT&T Center.
Manu Ginobili registered 14 points and seven assists, while Tim Duncan and Michael Finley went for 13 and 11 points, respectively, for San Antonio.
The Spurs were missing center Fabricio Oberto because of an irregular heartbeat and he is expected to be out at least one more game. San Antonio has now won 12 straight over the Clippers and 13 in a row over LA at home.
Matt Bonner and Kurt Thomas each had 10 points in the win.
New Orleans, which was eliminated by the Spurs in seven games during last season's conference semifinals, has split a pair of games with San Antonio this season with each club winning on its home floor. The Hornets are 26-11 in the Big Easy while the Spurs are 22-13 on the road.
These two teams will also wrap up the regular season in the Alamo City on April 15.
03/29 10:38:27 ET