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Raptors visit the Bayou to take on Hornets

The New Orleans Hornets almost unseated one of the best teams in the NBA last night in Chicago and will return to the Big Easy this evening in hopes of bouncing back versus the Toronto Raptors.

The Hornets dropped a 99-95 decision at the United Center on Tuesday, as reigning MVP Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 32 points and hit the go-ahead basket with 19.4 seconds to go.

Chris Kaman had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets, who had won four of six games and recorded a 3-3 mark on a six-game road trip. Trevor Ariza scored 16 points, Greivis Vasquez and Xavier Henry netted 12 apiece and Solomon Jones and Jarrett Jack each had 10 points for New Orleans, which has the worst record in the West at 8-26 and sits last in the Southwest Division.

"We should have won that game," New Orleans coach Monty Williams said on the team's website. "You've got to close games like that out."

Williams' team will also host Dallas and Indiana on the three-game homestand and is just 3-14 in the Big Easy this season.

Meanwhile, the Raptors will head to the bayou after suffering an 88-85 loss in Houston last night. DeMar DeRozan scored 17 points and James Johnson posted 16 and eight boards for Toronto, which has dropped eight of 10 games.

"The number one thing is we have to learn how to close these games out. We've had too many of those games," said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. "As a young team, that's something in our growth process that we have to learn how to do."

The Raptors have lost four in a row on the road and are 5-13 away from Canada this season. They are in the basement of the Atlantic Division.

Toronto big man Andrea Bargnani is still sidelined with a calf injury and leads the team with 23.5 ppg in 13 contests. He has missed 15 straight games and hasn't played since Jan. 25 at Utah.

The Raptors and Hornets split a home-and-home series a year ago.