New Orleans (15-22) at San Antonio (27-13)

Cloudy Currently: San Antonio, TX
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Fri Jan 19, 2007
  • TV: FSSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The struggling San Antonio Spurs hope to rebound from another uncharacteristic home loss when they face Jannero Pargo and the surging New Orleans Hornets on Friday.

The Spurs (27-13) are 14-7 at home this season after going 34-7 there in 2005-06 en route to the best record in the Western Conference. They lost 100-96 to the Los Angeles Lakers at the AT&T Center on Wednesday.

“We are not even able to win at home as regular as we used to,” said Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, who had 16 points Wednesday. “We really got to step up.

“I think we need to talk between us. Start bringing the best of each of us every single time for every minute. We know that every team is good and every team is trying to beat us.”

The home slump has contributed to San Antonio’s 5-5 mark in the last 10 games, which includes a season-high three-game slide from Jan. 2-5. The Spurs have scored an average of 89.4 points in their last five defeats, a drop of nearly 10 points from their season average.

They’ve shot 41.5 percent from the field over the last two games, including a 39.5-percent performance in a 99-87 loss at Chicago on Monday.

“We have a lot of guys that have shots and aren’t taking them and other guys taking some shots that are contested,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Just really out of whack as far as the shooting is concerned.”

San Antonio hopes it can halt the skid with a matchup against New Orleans, which it has beaten nine of the last 10 times. The Spurs have taken the first two meetings this season, scoring 107.5 points and limiting the Hornets to 77.0.

New Orleans (15-22) will be trying to win four in a row for the third time this season. The Hornets opened with four straight victories from Nov. 1-7 and matched that run from Nov. 14-21.

New Orleans’ recent surge has been led by Pargo, who is averaging 22.7 points during the three-game win streak. He had a season-high 25 points off the bench on Tuesday to lead the Hornets to an 84-78 overtime win against Orlando.

“He made open shots, he made guarded shots, he made tough shots and he made buzzer-beater shots,” Hornets swingman Rasual Butler said. “He hit almost everything that came his way. He kept us in the game.”

Pargo is capitalizing on the absence of point guard Chris Paul, who is out until at least February after suffering a sprained ankle on Dec. 26. Paul, last season’s NBA rookie of the year, leads the team with 18.4 points per game.

Pargo is averaging 16.4 points in 11 games since Paul’s injury.

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Friday, Jan 19