Tuesday , Dec , 06 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Hornets trying to play consistent basketball

(Sports Network) – The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets have split their
first 16 games of the 2005-06 campaign, and are trying to put together a
winning streak that can push them over the .500 mark.

New Orleans/Oklahoma City has been a team of streaks early on. The Hornets
have put together three two-game winning streaks and have suffered through a
four-game losing streak.

The Hornets wrap up a short two-game road trip on Tuesday against Memphis at
the FedExForum. Memphis has won six of nine and seven of the last 12 meetings
in this series. The Hornets have lost four of their last six at the Grizzlies.

On Saturday, All-Star Dirk Nowitzki had a game-high 30 points and pulled down
eight rebounds to lead the Mavericks over New Orleans/Oklahoma City, 97-88, at
American Airlines Center.

Rookie phenom Chris Paul finished with 25 points, six rebounds and five
assists in the loss to Dallas for the Hornets, while Speedy Claxton added 21
points and five rebounds in defeat.

New Orleans/Oklahoma City is 4-5 on the road this season. The Hornets return
home on Wednesday to host Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics. It will be the
first of two meetings between the clubs, as the Celtics are scheduled to host
the Hornets on January 23, 2006 at TD Banknorth Garden.

After playing Boston, the Hornets will embark on a three-game road trip that
includes games against Portland, Sacramento and Phoenix. They open the trip on
Friday against the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden.

Paul is off to an impressive start in his rookie campaign. He leads the team
in scoring (16.9 ppg) and assists (6.8 apg). The Wake Forest product has also
pulled down 5.6 rebounds per game and is shooting 44 percent from the floor.

NOH