The Golden State Warriors will try to end a three-game losing streak Saturday night when they visit the Big Easy to face the suddenly hot New Orleans Hornets.
The Warriors have not just dropped three in a row, but five of their last six. They fell Friday night, 95-88 in San Antonio to the Spurs, but did so without the services of Stephen Curry, who missed his second straight game with a sprained right ankle.
David Lee, Klay Thompson and Jarrett Jack, who started in place of Curry, all scored over 20, and Carl Landry added 15. Golden State took a one-point lead into the half, but the dynamic duo of Tony Parker and Tim Duncan carried the Spurs to victory in the second half.
"We competed. We competed on the defensive end. We took care of the basketball. We executed offensively," said head coach Mark Jackson. "They (the Spurs) made some tough plays. They have a history of doing just that. I'm disappointed in the loss, but at the same time I really like the way my team got after it."
The Warriors, who are 6-3 when playing the back end of a back-to-back, will conclude their short road jaunt Saturday night in New Orleans.
The Hornets come home the winners of two straight after consecutive road victories over the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics. New Orleans has won six of its last seven, including three in a row at home.
"If you look at our record, we're in no position to laud or get happy about a couple of wins," head coach Monty Williams said. "We've got a lot of work to do."
True, but the Hornets have improved, especially on the offensive end. During this seven-game stretch, New Orleans averaged 96.2 ppg, which is up four points than its season average.
Against the Celtics, the Hornets were led by Al-Farouq Aminu, who had 18 points, and Robin Lopez, who scored 17. Greivis Vasquez and Anthony Davis registered double-doubles, with Vasquez netting 15 and 11 boards and Davis with 10 of each.
Eric Gordon had the night off against the Celtics after playing the night before in Philadelphia. The Hornets are trying to maintain Gordon's knees, but his presence in the lineup has paid huge dividends for the team. In two injury-plagued seasons, the Hornets are 10-4 with Gordon in the lineup. He is expected to be in uniform against the Warriors.
The Warriors have won two in a row in New Orleans and knocked off the Hornets, 103-96 on Dec. 18 in Oakland. Golden State is 5-3 against the Hornets in their last seven.