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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 31st (All times eastern)

Toronto Raptors (16-15) at New Orleans Hornets (20-10), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Toronto Raptors wrap up a season-long seven-game road trip tonight, when they visit the streaking Hornets at New Orleans Arena.

This is the first of two meetings between the clubs this season. Toronto is scheduled to host the Hornets on March 30, 2008 at Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors were 2-0 against the Hornets last season and have won seven of the last nine contests in the series. Toronto has won four of five and five of its previous eight games at the Hornets.

Toronto is 2-4 on the swing. On Saturday, All-Star center Yao Ming posted a game-high 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets over the Raptors, 91-79, at Toyota Center.

Chris Bosh finished with 19 points and a game-best 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who have dropped four of their last five games overall. Jose Calderon posted 11 points and 10 assists, while Jamario Moon also scored 11 points in the loss.

The Raptors are 8-9 on the road this season. After tonight's contest, they return to Air Canada Centre for a three-game homestand versus Detroit, Philadelphia and Cleveland.

New Orleans attempts to win a season-best sixth straight contest. The Hornets won five in a row earlier this season from November 11-17. On Saturday, David West scored 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Hornets over the Cleveland Cavaliers, 86-76, at New Orleans Arena.

Chris Paul finished with 20 points, six rebounds, nine assists and seven steals for the Hornets, who have won eight of their 11 last contests overall. Tyson Chandler recorded 11 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans, which is off to its best start after 30 games in franchise history since beginning the 2000-01 season with the same 20-10 mark.

The Hornets, who have won five in a row as the host, are 9-5 at home this season. After tonight's contest, they will embark on a three-game road trip against the Clippers, Golden State and Phoenix.

Swingman Morris Peterson, who is averaging 9.2 points for the Hornets this season, plays his former team for the first time. The 30-year-old Peterson spent the first seven years of his career with Toronto before signing as a free agent with New Orleans this past offseason.

12/31 11:00:33 ET


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