The New Orleans Hornets look to snap a two game losing skid when they play the last of a four game road trip. They have lost two straight games dropping their win loss record to 11-3. Portland comes into Friday night's contest with a record of 8-6. Most recently playing this past Saturday at home against the Utah Jazz. They fell short in that game falling 103-94
The Hornets have lost two consecutive games for the first time this season. The first loss came to the Los Angeles Clippers Monday night by a score of 99-95. Power forward David West led the Hornets in scoring with 30 points butt was unable to guide his team to a victory. The second loss came to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. For only the second time this season the Hornets gave up over 100 points in a game. Deron Williams, point guard for the Jazz, had an incredible night. He scored 26 points, dished out 11 assists, and came away with 5 steals. His counterpart for the Hornets, Chris Paul, had 17 points, 9 assists, and 5 steals. The final score was 105-87 in favor of the Jazz.
The Trailblazers come into tonight's western conference game after five days off since their last game. A trio of players compose the nucleus of their team. Led by power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, shooting guard Brandon Roy, and point guard Andre Miller, the trailblazers are considered by many to be a strong playoff contender. Roy has played in 11 of the 14 games thus far, but he and team mate Joel Pryzbilla are expected to return to game action tonight. In the first meeting between these two teams earlier this year, New Orleans came away with a twenty point victory 107-87.
Of interest to Hornets fans, the improvement of new backup point guard Jarret Jack is of the utmost importance. His development into a more reliable player will help get all star point guard more rest during games. Paul is averaging a team high 34.4 minutes per game. Not quite a year away from his surgery, more rest would do he and the Hornets some good. David west follows Paul closely averaging 32.4 minutes played each game. They need to win tonight to finish the road trip with an even win/loss record.
Trailblazer fans are looking forward to seeing star guard Brandon Roy back on the court. Missing the past three games due to nagging knee injuries, has hurt the Blazers. They have won 2 of 3 with Roy out of the lineup. His presence back in the game will have a calming effect for head coach Nate McMillan. The Blazers have been without the services of big man Joel Pryzbilla going on a year now. He suffered a patella tendon injury in December of last year. His return looms big since the loss of center Greg Oden. The loss of Oden was not that long ago. The team has managed to clean the glass very well without either of the two centers. Averaging 11.5 more boards than their last two opponents.