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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 18th (All times eastern)

New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (10-12) at Miami Heat (10-13), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets will try to stop a two-game losing streak tonight when they take on the Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Hornets have lost nine of their last 11 games, including Saturday's 90-79 setback to the Dallas Mavericks. Chris Paul netted a game-high 30 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out eight assists for the Hornets.

Rasual Butler netted 19 points and had three steals, while Marc Jackson added 13 points off the bench in defeat. New Orleans/Oklahoma City went 1-2 on a three-game homestand and will hit the road to Miami and Orlando. The Hornets are 5-7 as the visitor this season.

On the injury front for the Hornets, forward Peja Stojakovic had lower back surgery to remove a disc fragment on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Hornets also announced that forward David West will have arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow Wednesday.

Stojakovic is averaging 17.8 points per game and helped the Hornets start the season on a hot note. The team was 8-3 before losing nine of their last 11 as the injuries began to pile up. Stojakovic has missed the Hornets' last nine contests with the back ailment, while West has missed the team's last 15 games since straining his right forearm in early November.

West averaged 17.4 points and 8.3 rebounds in the Hornets' first seven games this season.

The Heat, meanwhile, posted a 98-90 win on Saturday against the Memphis Grizzlies at home. Dwyane Wade came back from a two-game absence, pouring in a season-high 41 points. Wade, who missed the previous two games following dental surgery, shot 15-of-24 from the field and had seven assists, as Miami snapped a two-game skid.

Dorell Wright had 10 points and a career-best 16 rebounds for the Heat, who shot 50.6 percent from the field and outrebounded the Grizzlies, 45-30. Miami is 5-7 at AmericanAirlines Arena this season.

The Hornets beat Miami by a 101-86 score on November 21 this season and have won two straight and 10 of the last 16 meetings.

New Orleans/Oklahoma City has dropped four in a row and seven of its last 11 games in South Beach.

12/18 11:17:35 ET


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