Since posting just two wins during the first two months, New Orleans has won eight of its last 20 games. The Hornets have especially picked up their play at home, where they have won six of their last nine games and are averaging 103.5 points on 47 percent shooting in those victories.
New Orleans, which plays nine of its next 10 games at New Orleans Arena, looks to bounce back from a 97-94 defeat at the Orlando Magic on Sunday that snapped a two-game winning streak.
Dan Dickau continued his solid play by scoring a career-high 28 points, including 17 in the second half to keep the Hornets close.
“It was just normal flow-of-the-game shots I was making,” said Dickau, who shot 10-of-16 and hit seven three-pointers. “We’ve had so many close games that we lost. We could easily have 20, 22 wins right now, and that’s the frustrating thing.”
The 6-foot point guard, starting in place of the injured Baron Davis (Achilles’), entered Sunday averaging 18.4 points on 46 percent shooting, and 6.3 assists in his last 14 games.
”(Dan) is being his consistent self,” said P.J. Brown, who did not play the second half after spraining his left ankle in the second quarter. “He is showing everybody he belongs in this league and he is an NBA point guard.”
R.J. Smith scored 20 points Sunday for New Orleans, which has won seven games in a row over the Wizards at home since a 97-85 defeat on Nov. 11, 2000.
Washington, which has won eight of its last 13 games, had a four-game winning streak snapped with a 107-86 defeat at the defending champion Detroit Pistons.
All-Star guard Gilbert Arenas led the Wizards with 24 points and is averaging 31.4 points, 6.6 assists and nearly 48 percent shooting over his last five games.
Antawn Jamison, another All-Star, added 14 points for the Wizards, who have lost three in a row on the road and continue a three-game road trip.
The Hornets lead the all-time series 37-25, including a 22-8 mark at home.