76ers-Hornets Preview

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.