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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, November 18th (All times eastern)

Atlanta Hawks (0-8) at New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (2-5), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks will once again attempt to win their first game of the 2005-06 campaign tonight, as they visit the struggling New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.

The Hawks are off to their worst start in franchise history. In the 2000-01 season, Atlanta started the campaign with seven straight losses. Tonight's contest is the finale of a three-game road trip.

On Thursday, Josh Howard scored a game-high 25 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead Dallas over Atlanta, 87-78, at American Airlines Center. Zaza Pachulia paced the lowly Hawks with a career-high 21 points and 12 rebounds in the loss, while Joe Johnson contributed 18 points. Al Harrington finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Atlanta will have some time after tonight's contest, as it will not return to the court until November 23rd. The Hawks will welcome Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics next Wednesday to Philips Arena.

The Hornets have lost four straight and will conclude a brief two-game homestand. On Wednesday, Carmelo Anthony had a season-high 31 points, as the Denver Nuggets defeated the Hornets, 91-81, at the Ford Center.

Rookie Chris Paul scored 18 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the loss to Denver, while David West chipped in 16 points and nine boards before fouling out for the Hornets.

After tonight's game, the Hornets will hit the road for two games. They will visit the Orlando Magic on Saturday and the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday.

The home team has won eight of the last 10 meetings in this series. Atlanta has won three of the last five contests. The Hawks have lost nine of 11 and 11 of their last 16 at the Hornets.

Atlanta will host the Hornets on January 7th at Philips Arena in the final meeting of the campaign between the clubs.

11/18 10:12:53 ET


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