Friday , Jan , 20 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Hornets vs. Wizards

(Sports Network) – The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets try to extend their
season-best winning streak to five games this evening when they open a three-
game road trip against the Washington Wizards at the MCI Center.

On Wednesday, David West’s 10 fourth-quarter points sparked New
Orleans/Oklahoma City to an 87-79 victory over Memphis at the Ford Center, as
the Hornets got back to .500 and with their 19th victory, surpassed their win
total of last season.

West finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds, while rookie Chris Paul led the
Hornets in scoring with 16 points and P.J. Brown added 15.

With a victory tonight, New Orleans will have its first five-game winning
streak since closing the 2002-03 campaign with five straight wins.

The Hornets, who will close their trek with stops in New York and Boston, are
7-12 away from home this season.

Washington, meanwhile, comes in on a losing note after falling to the Orlando
Magic, 106-98, on Wednesday at the TD Waterhouse Centre.

Antawn Jamison tied a season-high with 30 points and pulled down 12 rebounds
for Washington, which had its four-game winning streak broken. Gilbert Arenas
added 21 points, Caron Butler scored 18, and Antonio Daniels notched 17 in the
loss for the Wizards.

Washington also made some news off the court on Wednesday, as it bought out
the contract of veteran guard Chucky Atkins, enabling him to sign with a new
team for the rest of the season.

Any team that signs him before he clears waivers tomorrow would have to
accommodate his 2005-06 salary of $4.8 million. After that, however, he can be
signed for the veteran’s minimum.

Atkins, acquired this past summer by the Wiz in the deal that sent Kwame Brown
to the Los Angeles Lakers, was averaging just 19.7 minutes and 6.7 points this

The Wizards, who will close a brief two-game homestand on Sunday against
Memphis, are 10-8 in their arena this season.

Washington split its two matchups with New Orleans last season, but could hold
the advantage tonight, as the home team in this series has won 10 of 12 and 12
of the last 15 meetings. The Hornets have also lost four of five and five of
their last seven at Washington.