As the Hornets have not panicked when dealing with 2nd half holes, a rally might be hard versus a recently potent Hawks club that seldom loses on their home court. The Hornets attempt to pick up their 7th consecutive & high for the year 4th consecutive away from home Friday evening while stopping the Hawks from carrying on their run toward the top of the Southeast Division.
New Orleans ( 27 - 16 ), which established a team record by coming back from a twenty-three point disadvantage during the 2nd half to defeat the Kings on December 15th, have picked up 6 consecutive in spite of losing by a minimum of twelve following half-time within 3 of their previous 4 matchups.
The most recent rally had been a 103 - 102 OT win against the Grizzlies on Wednesday when the Hornets came back from fifteen down during the 3rd period. It additionally had been one of those matchups December 26th when the Hornets dropped behind the Hawks ( 28 - 15 ) by 9 at half-time prior to Chris Paul scored thirteen of his twenty-two during the 3rd period on their way to a 93 - 86 win.
The Hornets have been lucky to have Marcus Thornton's spark coming off the bench. The lively shooting G enter Wednesday's matchup until 5:20 had been remaining during the 3rd period, however he completed having seventeen points & hit the lead-changing lay-in having 6 seconds remaining.
New Orleans out-scored the Grizzlies by 12 having Thornton on the court & increased to 6 - 0 when he puts in a minimum of 12.
The Hornets are permitting a average of 87.5 points in regular time within their victory stretch, 3 of the matchups went to OT, & are among the NBA leaders in scoring defense at 92.2 per game. They now try to pick up 4 consecutive on the road for the 1st occasion since January 25 to February 6th. New Orleans, However, will encounter a Hawks club putting in 102.5 Points per game while going 11 - 1 at Philips Arena since November 22nd.
Atlanta comes back to their home court after Tuesday's 93 - 89 OT win against Southeast leading Miami. Joe Johnson & Jamal Crawford got nineteen points each & the Hawks picked up their 6th straight contest determined by 5 points or less.
Johnson & Crawford might provide Paul & the Hornets back-court plenty of problems beyond the arc, however Atlanta's Front-court will probabaly be at a disadvantage. Starting C Al Horford sprained his right ankle Tuesday & will most likely skip a minimum of 2 matchups. Additionally, forward Marvin Williams is anticipated to skip a tenth consecutive matchup having a back injury. One of the ballers who might need to step up and carry the burden is Josh Smith, who has recorded 5 straight double - doubles versus the Hornets.
Smith got seventeen points & seventeen boards as the Hawks picked up a victory 121 - 98 in New Orleans, last trip to Atlanta on November 14th, 2009. Johnson put in twenty-six & Crawford put in twenty-one during that win as the Hawks took advantage of a Hornets club not having Paul ( ankle ).