Detroit (11-13) at New Orleans (10-13)

Fair Currently: New Orleans, LA
Temp: 76° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Wed Dec 16, 2009
  • TV: FSD, CST
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Last season, Chris Paul(notes) and David West(notes) led the New Orleans Hornets to their first season sweep of the Detroit Pistons since the franchise’s relocation.

Both players - and the Hornets - will seek another strong performance against the visiting Pistons on Wednesday night.

Paul had at least 20 points and 13 assists in each of last season’s two victories over Detroit. West averaged 25.0 points to help the Hornets finish unbeaten against the Pistons for the first time since 1998-99, when they played in Charlotte.

The two All-Stars have both experienced their ups and downs this season.

Paul averaged 23.8 points and shot 59.4 percent in the first 10 games, but a sprained left ankle forced him to miss the next eight. He’s posted five straight double-doubles since returning Dec. 4.

The point guard reached 20 points for the first time in more than a month Monday night in Dallas. Paul tried to rally the Hornets from an early 21-point deficit, but the comeback fell short in a 94-90 loss.

“Dallas is too good a team, too much scoring potential and defense to get yourself that far behind,” New Orleans coach Jeff Bower said. “We battled, but there was a lot to overcome to offset that first quarter.”

West, meanwhile, has proved inconsistent at times this season after averaging a career-best 21.0 points in 2008-09.

Over the past 13 games, he’s scored 20 or more points five times, but he’s averaged 11.0 points on 34.7 percent shooting in the other eight contests. West had 11 points while missing eight of 13 shots in Monday’s defeat.

Like West, New Orleans (10-13) has been unsteady this season. The Hornets recovered from a 3-8 start to win three in a row in November, but then dropped three of four. They bounced back with another three-game win streak, but enter Wednesday’s game trying to avoid a third straight defeat.

They’ll try to take advantage of a Pistons team coming off one of its worst defensive efforts of the season, allowing Houston to shoot 54.7 percent in a 107-96 road loss Tuesday night - the end of a five-game win streak.

Defense has held the key to success for Detroit (11-13).

The Pistons had held seven straight opponents below 100 points prior to Tuesday, going 6-1 in that stretch. However, they’ve allowed at least 100 in seven of their 12 road games and are 3-9 away from home.

Detroit could get a little healthier in the near future. Guards Will Bynum(notes) and Ben Gordon(notes) have resumed practicing as they attempt to recover from sprained left ankles.

Richard Hamilton(notes), the team’s leading scorer the past eight seasons, has 39 points in two games since his return from a sprained right ankle, including a team-best 21 in Tuesday’s loss.

“We need his energy,” coach John Kuester told the team’s official Web site. “There’s no question about that.”

Hamilton led the Pistons in scoring in both meetings last season against the Hornets, who have won six of seven at home.

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Wednesday, Dec 16