New Orleans (30-27) at Milwaukee (27-28)

Cloudy Currently: Milwaukee, WI
Temp: 63° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Wed Feb 24, 2010
  • TV: CST, FSWI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With Marcus Thornton(notes) and Darren Collison(notes) developing rapidly, the New Orleans Hornets have two more players who can give the Milwaukee Bucks problems.

After getting an outstanding game from their rookie guards, the Hornets look for their ninth straight win over the Bucks on Wednesday night.

New Orleans (30-27) is coming off its first loss in three games, 105-95 at Cleveland on Tuesday. Thornton and Collison, though, continue to give the Hornets reason for optimism, especially as superstar Chris Paul(notes) remains sidelined for at least another two weeks due to a knee injury.

Thornton and Collison combined for 59 points, including a franchise-record 23 from Thornton in the second quarter. Peja Stojakovic(notes) previously held the team mark, posting 22 points in the first quarter against Charlotte on Nov. 14, 2007.

“I would rather have a ‘W,’” said Thornton, who finished with a career-high 37 off the bench. “The records mean something, but they would mean more if we had won.”

Thornton, a second-round pick from LSU, is averaging 16.3 points and shooting 41.5 percent from 3-point range over his last 15 games.

Collison, starting at point guard in place of Paul, is averaging 22.9 points over his last eight contests. He had 22 and 10 assists versus the Cavaliers.

Selected 21st overall in last year’s draft from UCLA, Collison had a strong performance in the Hornets’ 102-99 overtime win over Milwaukee (27-28) on Nov. 25 with 18 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. He hit a 3-pointer with 7.5 seconds remaining in regulation to tie it at 91 and eventually help New Orleans extend its winning streak over the Bucks.

Thornton had four points in 19 minutes, but has become a much more significant contributor since then.

Collison will be pitted against Brandon Jennings(notes) in a matchup of two of the league’s top first-year players. Jennings, drafted 10th overall, is averaging 16.5 points and 6.1 assists.

Jennings had 14 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals in this season’s first contest with New Orleans. He was held to four points on 1-of-9 shooting against New York on Monday, but Milwaukee got an outstanding performance from center Andrew Bogut(notes) in an 83-67 victory.

Bogut had 24 points and 20 rebounds, shooting 12 of 15 en route to his third career 20-20 game. Milwaukee has had eight 20-20 performances since 1986-87, and Bogut has three of them.

“When he got his offense going it makes it easier for us to hit open shots or get to the middle of the floor,” Jennings said.

Bogut also had five blocks as the Bucks had their best defensive game of the season, holding the Knicks to 33.8 percent shooting. Milwaukee is 8-1 when Bogut has at least four blocks.

Bogut was one of five players to reach double figures in scoring.

“It’s not just one person on the team,” Jennings said. “It depends on who is hot that night. Sometimes John (Salmons) is hot, sometimes Andrew is hot. We got so many weapons out here.”

Milwaukee has won three straight, holding each opponent to less than 89 points.

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Wednesday, Feb 24