Cleveland (25-36) at New Orleans (33-28)

Fair Currently: New Orleans, LA
Temp: 76° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Fri Mar 5, 2004
  • TV: WUAB
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Hoping to stay in the playoff picture, the Cleveland Cavaliers look to end a 10-game road losing streak to the New Orleans Hornets as the teams complete their season series.

The Cavaliers, who haven’t reached the postseason since 1998, are locked in a tight race with Boston and Miami for the final Eastern Conference postseason berth.

Cleveland continued its push for the playoffs Wednesday, routing Atlanta 112-80 at home for its fifth win in seven games.

Rookie LeBron James scored 24 points to lead six Cleveland players in double figures as the Cavs rebounded from a 92-81 loss at Chicago on Monday.

“We still have to go down to New Orleans and play well,” Cavs coach Paul Silas said. “We’re now only a game and a half out of sixth and a half a game out of eighth. So if we continue this thing we have a chance to get there. That’s what its all about at this point, just playing some quality basketball and keep it rolling.”

The Cavs haven’t won a road game against the Hornets since an 87-77 victory on Feb. 10, 1999, when the Hornets played in Charlotte.

Friday’s game marks Silas’ second trip back to New Orleans. He coached the Hornets from 1999-03, setting the club record with 208 victories before getting fired this past offseason.

The Cavs lost 82-72 at New Orleans on Nov. 26, but won both games against the Hornets at Gund Arena this season.

The Hornets, battling Milwaukee for fourth place in the conference, are coming off a 100-97 overtime victory at home against the Bulls on Wednesday.

Jamal Mashburn scored 27 points and hit the winning fadeaway 3-pointer at the buzzer for the Hornets. Mashburn, who also forced the overtime with a 3-pointer, finished 9-of-26 from the floor.

“No matter what I shoot from the field, I will always have confidence in my stroke and my ability,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of shots like that in the past.”

David Wesley, in his second game and first start since missing 20 games with a toe injury, had 18 points, and P.J. Brown added a season-high 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Brown didn’t expect his team to have such a tough time against the Bulls, considering Chicago has the worst road record in the NBA at 6-23.

“I’m more concerned with us playing well, playing smarter … just playing harder,” Brown said. “I’m glad we won. Don’t get me wrong, but I’m not overly excited because I know we can play better.”

Point guard Baron Davis, who managed just 12 points Wednesday, is averaging 29 points in three games against the Cavs this season.

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