Even a return to Louisiana couldn’t help the New Orleans Hornets snap out of a long losing streak.
The Hornets will try one more time to win at New Orleans Arena—and snap an eight-game losing skid—as they host the Los Angeles Clippers.
New Orleans lost 109-94 to Denver on Saturday, its second game back at the arena damaged by flooding from Hurricane Katrina. The Hornets also lost there March 8 to the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite sellout crowds, the Hornets have been unable to produce a victory.
Tuesday’s game is the Hornets’ final contest in New Orleans before finishing their home schedule in their temporary home of Oklahoma City.
“I was very pleased with the crowd. I just hate that we couldn’t give them a better showing,” said Hornets guard Chris Paul, who had 11 points and 10 assists. “We’re so much better than we showed the two times that we played out here.”
New Orleans has six double-digit losses during the losing streak, which could possibly cost the team a playoff berth. The Hornets haven’t yet to win this month and are only 2-10 since the All-Star break.
“I don’t know how we’re looking at the rest of the season, but it’s mind boggling to me that we don’t understand that we have to come out like we are in a dogfight,” Hornets coach Byron Scott said. “We are just so soft in the beginning of games it’s incredible. With the talent we have, we can’t play hard for 36 minutes. It’s not good enough.”
New Orleans has slumped to ninth in the Western Conference, one game behind Sacramento for the final playoff spot. Before the losing streak, the Hornets were sixth in the conference and closing fast on the Clippers, who have since won nine of their past 12.
The Clippers beat Houston 99-91 on Monday to move 13 games over .500 for the first since 1975-76, when the franchise was known as the Buffalo Braves.
“We should be at least 19 games over .500 right now,” Clippers guard Cuttino Mobley said. “I’ve been telling guys we could do this since the beginning of the season. We’re going for the 50 (wins) and the playoffs. I can’t wait.”
“Since Cat (Cuttino Mobley) and I got here, we’ve been expecting to win,” Cassell said. “People were saying, it’s still the Clippers. But just the attitude he and I bring has made a difference.
“Elton Brand is progressing and Corey Maggette has done well. Hey, we’ve got a lot of talent in this locker room.”
With another victory, the Clippers will have their first 40-win season since 1992-93, when they went 41-41 under Larry Brown.