Brooklyn (19-22) at New Orleans (25-13)

Cloudy Currently: New Orleans, LA
Temp: 63° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Wed Jan 21, 2009
  • TV: YES, CST
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Thanks to the play of point guard Chris Paul in the team’s last game, a banged-up frontcourt didn’t keep the New Orleans Hornets from notching their first back-to-back wins of the month.

The Hornets could use another strong outing from Paul with David West and Tyson Chandler expected to be sidelined at least one more game, as the New Jersey Nets come to town Wednesday night.

West, second on the team with 20.0 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, missed his first contest of the season Monday night because of back spasms that will likely keep him out Wednesday as well.

Chandler, meanwhile, suffered a sprained ankle in the second quarter Monday against Indiana. Though X-rays did not show any breaks, he’s doubtful for Wednesday.

“I thought it was a lot worse than it is,” he said. “At this point you never know. My body normally reacts pretty well to sprained ankles. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”

Without two of their top players, the Hornets (25-13) needed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Paul to pull out a 103-100 home victory over the Pacers. He capped his 27-point performance with a fadeaway 3 as time expired, giving New Orleans its first back-to-back victories in January after a 4-4 start to the month.

“Chris is a great player, and as they say, great players make great plays,” Hornets coach Byron Scott said.

Scott’s team also lost reserve center Hilton Armstrong to a knee injury in the third quarter. Armstrong’s status for Wednesday is uncertain.

The Hornets escaped with the victory by holding the Pacers to 10 points and 4-for-22 shooting in the third quarter, and getting 13 fourth-quarter points from Paul.

“It was a gutsy win,” Scott said. “Tyson went down, Hilton went down, and not having David. If the game had gone on any longer we probably would have lost someone else, so for the guys to hang in there with some funky lineups … I thought they did a heck of a job on the defensive end, and through the fourth quarter.”

Nets coach Lawrence Frank was far less thrilled with his team’s effort in its last game. New Jersey (19-22) fell behind 18-2 and trailed by as much as 30 in a 105-85 home loss to Boston on Saturday night.

Nets stars Devin Harris and Vince Carter were benched for the entire second half and finished with seven and five points, respectively.

“I was totally embarrassed by our performance,” said Frank, whose club has matched a season high with three straight losses. “It starts with me and goes on to our main players. It was an embarrassing start to the game so I decided to go in another direction.”

Carter, averaging 7.3 points and shooting 21.9 percent (7-for-32) from the field during New Jersey’s three-game skid, understood Frank’s decision.

“He made the call so I have to live with it,” he said. “It’s not easy to do but he felt like we weren’t giving much to the team and he made a decision to go with a different unit. It’s like that sometimes.”

Carter and Harris hope to rebound on the road, where they rank among the league’s leading scorers with 23.4 and 25.4 points per game, respectively. Despite their success, however, New Jersey has dropped four straight road contests after a 10-4 start away from the Meadowlands.

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Wednesday, Jan 21