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Gameday Preview: Spurs vs. Hornets

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (37-6) vs. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (28-16)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Manu Ginobili 18.9 Tim Duncan 9.7 Tony Parker 7.0
HORNETS David West 19.0 Emeka Okafor 10.4 Chris Paul 9.7

The San Antonio Spurs (37-6) begin a difficult and road-heavy stretch of their schedule tonight when they visit the New Orleans Hornets (28-16) at the New Orleans Arena.

The Spurs will try to end the Hornets’ seven-game winning streak as they open their three game road trip against another surging Western Conference team. New Orleans is coming off a dominating performance in a 100-59 victory over Atlanta last night.

The Hornets’ winning streak is the second-longest in the league behind San Antonio.

The Spurs have held the Hornets to 92.7 points per game while winning two of three meetings this season, including a 109-84 home victory on December 5 in which San Antonio shot 58.6% from the floor. 

New Orleans has allowed 100 points or more in regulation nine times this season — twice against San Antonio. The Hornets have been especially stingy during their seven-game winning streak, giving up 86.3 points per game and are 17-5 at home this season. 

KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:

Offense — The Spurs has to get Duncan involved on the offense early to set the tone on the inside. He should get enough help from Ginobili, Jefferson, Parker and Blair on offense. 

Defense – Containing Chris Paul will always be key, but the Spurs should also focus on limiting David West on the offensive end. Taking control of the rebounds is also a must.

HORNETS:

Offense — Their offense starts with Chris Paul and David West. Plus they should get added offensive boost from Belinelli and Okafor.

Defense — Contain Duncan on the inside and limit Ginobili, Parker, and Jefferson’s dribble penetrations. They also have to be wary of the Spurs outside shooters.

INJURIES

Spurs — George Hill – sprained right thumb (day-to-day), Matt Bonner – sore right knee (day-to-day)

Hornets — Trevor Ariza – ankle tendinitis (day-to-day), Aaron Gray – sprained ankle (day-to-day)

PREDICTION: The Hornets are playing well lately, especially on the defensive end of the floor, they will bring that confidence tonight against the Spurs. However, even with the best record in the NBA, the Spurs are still improving and are slowly getting better on defense.

The Spurs must avoid a slow start and match the Hornets’ energy. The team that controls the rebounds and dominate on the inside will win this game. The Spurs will with this game 99-93 and extend their win streak to nine games.

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