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76ers-Hornets Preview

AP - Sports

In their last visit to New Orleans, the Philadelphia 76ers closed out their longest road trip of the season with their worst shooting performance of 2010-11.

The 76ers are one of the league's top shooting teams as they arrive in New Orleans for the conclusion of the franchise's longest season-opening trip.

Philadelphia goes for its first set of back-to-back wins Wednesday night when the Hornets try to end a three-game losing streak.

After holding the Hornets to a season-low in points and field goal percentage (30.4) in an 88-70 home win on Dec. 12, 2010, the 76ers capped off their eight-game trip last Jan. 3 by missing 18 of 23 from 3-point range and shooting a season-worst 34.1 percent (30 of 88) in an 84-77 loss in New Orleans.

The 76ers (2-2), though, are making 48.3 percent of their shots - including 43.5 percent (30 for 69) from long range - as they close out their five-game trip.

Louis Williams and Andre Iguodala are averaging a combined 37.0 points and have hit 21 for 36 from beyond the arc, while Spencer Hawes has been outstanding down low, totaling 12.0 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.

The fifth-year center posted his third double-double of the season Saturday with 14 points and 12 boards in a 107-79 victory over Golden State.

"When Spencer's around the basket and active, great things happen," coach Doug Collins said following Monday's practice. "... There's no reason in the world why he couldn't be a top 10 rebounder in the league this year, and I told him to even think about being in the top 5."

Hawes missed the 76ers' last game in New Orleans after straining his back in warmups, while Iguodala was sidelined for that contest due to tendinitis in his Achilles' tendon.

The Hornets (2-3) have their own injury concerns as newcomer Eric Gordon has missed the last four games with a bruised right knee, and Trevor Ariza left in the fourth quarter of Monday's 94-90 loss at Utah with a strained groin.

New Orleans was outscored 24-16 in the final 12 minutes.

"Losing Trevor, not having Eric and playing guys that normally wouldn't be in that situation was tough, and it showed down the stretch" coach Monty Williams said.

The return of Gordon and Ariza could help a Hornets team that's shooting 41.4 percent - 17.9 percent (12 for 67) from long range.

Still, the 76ers will have to find a way to contain Jarrett Jack, who has done a nice job at point guard after Chris Paul was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 14 for Gordon, Chris Kaman and Al-Farouq Aminu.

Jack leads the Hornets with 16.5 points and 8.0 assists per game. He had season highs with 27 and 11, respectively, on Monday after committing a career-high eight turnovers in Sunday's 96-80 loss at Sacramento.

"I wanted to come out and have a more positive effect than I did in the last game, but it still wasn't enough," Jack said. "We've just got to go home, be ready - we've got a Philly team that's been playing pretty good basketball in the beginning of the season and be ready to protect home court."

The 76ers have lost seven of 10 regular-season road games in this series since the Hornets relocated to New Orleans in 2002.

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