Warriors-Hornets Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 19, 2013
The Golden State Warriors are hoping to have Stephen Curry back as they try to avoid falling further back in the Pacific Division race. The New Orleans Hornets still own one of the worst records in the Western Conference, so coach Monty Williams isn't celebrating their recent success. With Curry's status unclear, the Warriors will try to halt their longest losing streak of the season in a matchup with the resurgent Hornets on Saturday night. Golden State (23-15) has lost five of six since a win over the division-leading Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 2 pulled them within 2 1/2 games in the Pacific. The Warriors followed that up three days later by falling 115-89 to the Clippers, and the gap has widened to seven games since. They host the Clippers again Monday, but could use some momentum after their losing streak reached three with Friday's 95-88 defeat at San Antonio. "I'm disappointed in the loss, but at the same time I really like the way my team got after it," coach Mark Jackson said. Possibly having Curry back may please Jackson further. The star guard, who leads the team with 20.5 points per game and 6.6 assists, was averaging 25.0 points over his past three games before spraining an ankle in a shootaround Wednesday. That's forced Curry to miss the last two games, and Golden State is 10-32 without him over the last two seasons. If Curry is sidelined again, the Warriors will need another strong game from David Lee, who has 22 points, seven assists and six rebounds Friday. Lee is second on the team with 19.8 points per game and ranks among the league leaders with 10.8 rebounds. He's averaging 26.3 points over his past three meetings with the Hornets (13-26). Lee hit that average while Curry had 13 points in a 103-96 victory on Dec. 18, the Warriors' second straight in New Orleans. Another road win in the series won't come easy with the Hornets having won six of seven following a 2-14 stretch. "If you look at our record, we're in no position to laud or get happy about a couple of wins," coach Monty Williams said. "We've got a lot of work to do." New Orleans, though, continued its impressive play with a 90-78 win at Boston on Wednesday despite going 2 for 17 from 3-point range. Ryan Anderson's struggles continued as he was limited to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting in the win. He leads the Hornets with 16.6 points per game, but he's averaged only 9.2 on 31.5 percent from the floor - 7 for 30 from beyond the arc - over the past five games. He had 28 points against Golden State last month, but shot 8 of 22 overall and missed 10 of 14 from 3-point range. Al-Farouq Aminu played just 3 minutes off the bench in that meeting, failing to take a shot. The forward has been key as a starter over the past seven games, averaging 7.9 points and 10.6 rebounds after scoring a season-high 18 while pulling down nine boards against the Celtics.
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