Wednesday , Dec , 28 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Hornets, Rockets clash at Ford Center

(Sports Network) – Southwest Division rivals square off tonight, as the New
Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets welcome the struggling Houston Rockets to the
Ford Center.

This is the second meeting of the season between the clubs. On November 5th,
Rookie phenom Chris Paul had 15 points and eight assists for the Hornets, who
rallied to defeat the Rockets, 91-84, at the Toyota Center.

The Hornets have won two straight in this series, while Houston has won nine
of 13 and 10 of the last 15 meetings. The Rockets have won three straight and
five of their last six at the Hornets.

New Orleans/Oklahoma City is well rested and returns home after going 0-2 on a
short two-game road trip. On Friday, Michael Redd scored 36 points and shot
10-for-11 from the free throw line, as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the
Hornets, 101-94, at the Bradley Center.

David West scored 27 points and pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds, and
Paul finished with 24 points in the loss to Milwaukee for the Hornets, who
have lost two straight and eight of their last 11 games overall.

The Hornets are 6-5 as the host this season. They return to the court on
Thursday to play the defending world champion San Antonio Spurs at the SBC

Houston will try and halt a three-game losing streak. On Tuesday, Mehmet Okur
scored 20 points and tied a season-high with 17 rebounds, as the Utah Jazz
defeated the Rockets, 82-74, at the Toyota Center.

All-Star Tracy McGrady led all scorers with 21 first-half points, but the
Rockets forward left at intermission with his fiancee expected to give birth
at any time. McGrady’s fiancee had a boy.

Juwan Howard contributed 19 points and eight rebounds ,while David Wesley
added 14 points in the loss to the Jazz for Houston, which has lost four of
its last five games overall.

McGrady is probable for tonight’s contest.

The Rockets are 7-8 as the visitor this season. They have lost two of their
last three on the road.