Chandler, Paul leading Hornets' run at the playoffs
(Sports Network) - Multi-talented point guard Chris Paul and forward Tyson Chandler have the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets back in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.
Paul is averaging 17.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and a team-best 8.7 assists in 41 games this season. The Wake Forest product has collected 17 double-doubles and has scored in double-digits 34 times.
Chandler, who is averaging 8.6 points and a club-high 12.4 rebounds, has been a force inside lately. Has has registered 10 straight double-doubles and has posted double-figures in rebounds in 17 straight contests.
The Hornets (28-30) have been hit extremely hard this season by injuries, but have managed to avoid falling out of contention for the postseason. They are tied with the Clippers for eighth and final spot and are just one game behind the seventh-seeded Denver Nuggets.
New Orleans/Oklahoma City is still without forward Peja Stojakovic (lower back). Stojakovic is averaging 17.8 points per game in just 13 outings, and last played on November 24th.
The Chicago Bulls play the finale of a three-game homestand, as they welcome the Hornets on Friday to the United Center. It is the second and final meeting of the season between the clubs. On December 1st, Andres Nocioni scored 31 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Chicago edged the Hornets, 111-108, at the Ford Center. Nocioni is currently sidelined with plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
The Hornets have lost two of their last three at Chicago. The Bulls have won two in a row in the series.
New Orleans/Oklahoma City has won three of its last four games overall. Paul posted 24 points and 13 rebounds as the Hornets got their sixth straight win at home with a 107-100 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday at the Ford Center.
Devin Brown scored 19 points in the win over Atlanta for the Hornets. Tyson Chandler collected 18 points and 13 boards, while David West had 17 points and 14 boards in the victory.
The Hornets are just 9-19 on the road this season. They are scheduled to host the Utah Jazz on Sunday at the Ford Center. On January 27th, Bobby Jackson scored 21 points off the bench to lead New Orleans/Oklahoma City over the Jazz, 94-83, at the Ford Center. Utah is scheduled to host the Hornets on March 10th at EnergySolutions Arena.
New Orleans/Oklahoma City is scheduled to play 13 of its final 24 games on the road.NOH