Minnesota (17-32) at New Orleans (29-18)

Fair Currently: New Orleans, LA
Temp: 97° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Sun Feb 8, 2009
  • TV: FSN, CST
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The New Orleans Hornets proved they can win without Chris Paul. On Sunday, they’ll try to make it two in a row minus their All-Star point guard when they host the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves.

New Orleans (29-18) beat Toronto 101-92 at home Friday in its second game without Paul, who is also expected to miss this contest due to a strained right groin.

The result also snapped a season-high four-game losing streak for the Hornets, who conclude a four-game homestand Sunday.

“This (winning) gives us relief for 36 to 48 hours, then you’re right back on the court,” coach Byron Scott told the Hornets’ official Web site.

Peja Stojakovic scored a season-high 28 points as the Hornets tied a franchise record with 15 3-pointers and used a 17-0 fourth-quarter run to rally for their first victory in February.

“CP’s out, we’ve got to have better ball movement and that’s what we did, particularly in the fourth quarter,” Stojakovic said. “Nobody’s going to feel sorry about us because we’ve got a couple of hurt guys. We had to stop the losing streak. We did and we’ve got Minnesota on Sunday.”

The Hornets are also expected to be without starting forward Tyson Chandler for a 10th straight contest due to a sprained left ankle. That means Stojakovic and David West will be counted on to pick up the slack for at least one more game.

West had 17 points and 10 rebounds versus the Raptors for his second straight double-double. The All-Star power forward, averaging 19.9 points on the season, is pulling down 11.4 rebounds over his last five contests after missing five due to back spasms - including a 116-108 loss at Minnesota on Jan. 23.

Stojakovic is averaging 14.4 points per game on the season and 23.3 - while shooting 13-for-26 from 3-point range - in his last three games. He had 17 in last month’s loss to the Timberwolves, in which the Hornets went 13-for-22 from beyond the arc, but allowed 37 fourth-quarter points.

Al Jefferson and Randy Foye each scored 24 points for Minnesota in that contest, as the Timberwolves beat New Orleans for just the second time in seven meetings.

Jefferson, who also had 14 rebounds in last months matchup, had 36 points and matched a career high with 22 boards in a 107-90 loss at Houston on Saturday. Minnesota (17-32) led by as many as 15 points, but shot only 39.8 percent from the field and got outrebounded 51-39 by the Rockets.

It was the Timberwolves’ second straight defeat and fifth in six contests since a three-game winning streak that started with the victory over the Hornets.

“We were moving the ball and attacking them in the first half,” Jefferson said. “Then, we got away from it.”

Foye has scored 44 points in his last two games against New Orleans.

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Sunday, Feb 8