After losing to the team that fired him last season, New Orleans coach Byron Scott hopes to avoid a defeat to his former assistant when the league-worst Hornets visit the MCI Center to face the Washington Wizards.
New Orleans has lost nine straight games, including a 94-91 overtime loss in New Jersey on Friday. Scott led the Nets to consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003, but was fired in late January and replaced by assistant Lawrence Frank.
Dan Dickau scored a career-high 18 points off the bench to lead the Hornets, who held an 86-79 lead with 2:10 left in the fourth quarter before allowing the Nets to score seven unanswered points.
“It’s just ridiculous. We were up in regulation by four with a minute and some change to go,” Hornets forward Matt Freije. “We should have had it at the end of regulation.”
George Lynch and P.J. Brown each added 14 points for New Orleans, which used just eight players. Rodney Rogers, Jamal Mashburn, Baron Davis and Jamaal Magloire are on the injured list and Lee Nailon sat out with a groin injury.
Wizards coach Eddie Jordan was an assistant under Scott in New Jersey from 2000-03 before being named Wizards coach on June 19, 2003. Jordan entered the season with a 58-121 record as a head coach, but has Washington off to a surprisingly strong start.
Washington has won eight of its last 10 games, including Friday’s 106-104 victory over the New York Knicks. Brendan Haywood missed two free throws with 55 seconds remaining, but grabbed a rebound and converted a three-point play with 7.1 seconds left for the winning points.
Antawn Jamison had 25 points and 13 rebounds and Gilbert Arenas had 20 points and seven assists as all five Washington starters reached double figures early in the third quarter. Haywood finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds as the Wizards had 27 offensive boards—tied for the most in an NBA game this season.
The Wizards will have forward Kwame Brown back Sunday. Brown was suspended two days for refusing to join the huddle during a timeout in Wednesday’s 111-105 loss at Denver. The 6-11 Brown has played only 46 minutes in four games this season, having missed the first 12 after undergoing surgery on a broken bone in his right foot, which he injured during a summer pickup game.