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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, February 11th (All times eastern)

New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (26-23) at Minnesota Timberwolves (22-27), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets will likely once again be without rookie phenom Chris Paul this evening when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.

The Hornets didn't skip a beat without Paul on Friday, as David West had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead New Orleans/Oklahoma City over the New York Knicks, 111-100, at the Ford Center.

Paul, the leading Rookie of the Year candidate, missed his first of an expected two-game absence due to a rib injury. He leads NBA rookies with 16.2 points, 7.7 assists, 2.2 steals and 35.7 minutes per game.

Speedy Claxton started at point guard in place of Paul and had 18 points and 11 assists, while Desmond Mason added 19 points for the Hornets, who have won two straight and six of seven.

New Orleans/Oklahoma City, which will return home for a pair of games after tonight's tilt, is 9-15 away from home this season.

Minnesota, meanwhile, comes in on a sour note as well after dropping a 94-80 decision at home to the Utah Jazz on Friday.

Trenton Hassell led the Timberwolves with 19 points and Kevin Garnett recorded 16 points and 18 rebounds, as Minnesota lost for the sixth time in its last eight games.

Ricky Davis struggled from the field, scoring 18 points on just 7-for-22 shooting.

The Timberwolves, who will close a five-game homestand with visits from Toronto and Seattle, are 14-10 in their arena this season.

Minnesota defeated the Hornets earlier in the season and has won seven of eight and 11 of the last 13 meetings. New Orleans/Oklahoma City has also dropped six straight in the Twin Cities.

02/11 10:18:59 ET

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