NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 6th (All times eastern)
New Orleans Hornets (16-16) at Oklahoma City Thunder (19-15), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The suddenly streaking New Orleans Hornets hope to move above the .500 mark tonight when they visit the much-improved Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Hornets, who will be shooting for a season-high fourth straight win as well as their 10th consecutive victory over the Thunder franchise, are an impressive 13-3 in the Big Easy but a polar opposite 3-13 on the road, something they hope to cure in Oklahoma City.
The Hornets got a rare win away from home on Monday when Devin Brown led all scorers with 30 points and David West had 20 points, nine rebounds and three steals, as New Orleans got by the Utah Jazz, 91-87, in Salt Lake City.
Chris Paul finished with 12 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals for the Hornets, who reached the .500 mark for the first time since the second game of the season.
The Thunder have also been hot recently, winning for the sixth time in seven games on Monday in Chicago after Russell Westbrook finished with a game-high 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists, as Oklahoma City cooled off the Chicago Bulls with a 98-85 victory at United Center.
Kevin Durant scored 25 points and pulled down eight boards for the Thunder while rookie James Harden contributed 13 points in the win.
Durant, who is fourth in the NBA in scoring at 28.4 points per game, had scored 30 points in a franchise record seven straight games heading into Chicago.
"I thought we did a better job of defending and moving the ball offensively (in the second half)," said Oklahoma City head coach Scott Brooks. "We defended the pass much better in the second half. In the first half we were turning the ball over."
The Thunder franchise hasn't beaten New Orleans since a 102-94 triumph on Dec. 26, 2006 when they were known as the Seattle SuperSonics.
01/06 10:25:54 ET