Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/6

Game 1: Saturday, December 6th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 16th
Game 3: Monday, February 9th
Game 4: Friday, March 20th

Grizzlies 87

(5-15, 1-10 away)

Hornets 106

(11-6, 6-3 home)

    Coverage: FSTN

    8:00 PM ET, December 6, 2008

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MEM 16 23 22 2687
    NO 37 21 32 16106

    Top Performers

    Mem: M. Gasol 21 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    NO: C. Paul 21 Pts, 5 Reb, 11 Ast, 3 Stl

    Grizzlies-Hornets Preview


    For a stretch early this season, the New Orleans Hornets didn't look much like the team that made huge strides en route to a franchise-record win total in 2007-08. Based on their recent play, they appear to have figured things out.

    The Hornets go for their sixth win in seven games when they host the Memphis Grizzlies in a Southwest Division matchup on Saturday night.

    After winning its first three games, New Orleans (10-6) dropped five of its next seven, a stretch that included losses to lowly Charlotte and Sacramento, teams with a combined 12-27 record. After falling 105-96 at home to the Kings, All-Star forward David West said the Hornets had taken steps back after winning 56 games and a playoff series last season.

    The Hornets have responded by winning five of six, notching victories over Denver and Phoenix over the last week. Chris Paul had 24 points and 15 assists to lead three New Orleans players with at least 20 points in Wednesday's 104-91 victory over the Suns.

    The Hornets had 17 offensive rebounds that led to 28 second-chance points, and also scored 13 fast-break points, their most in five games.

    "We're capable of that every night. We've just got to defend and run," said Paul, who also had three steals. "We're not a half-court team. We're at our best when we're getting steals, getting out in transition and getting easy buckets."

    Getting to the free-throw line helps, too. The Hornets rank near the top of the league in free-throw percentage at 81.3, but rank near the bottom with 364 total attempts. They outscored Phoenix 30-10 at the line Wednesday.

    "We are one of the best free-throw shooting teams in the league, but we don't utilize it enough because we don't get to the rim enough," coach Byron Scott said. "The guys made a conscious effort tonight to put their heads down a little bit more and get to the basket, which got us to the free throw line, and we were able to capitalize on that."

    The Hornets hope to continue their resurgence against a Memphis team coming off its first win in more than two weeks. The Grizzlies (5-14) snapped their seven-game losing streak by topping the Los Angeles Clippers 93-81 on Friday night.

    "It feels good to win again ... I thought our guys played harder and more together than they've played in the past," Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni said.

    Rudy Gay, who entered the game shooting 42.5 percent from the field, had 25 points and shot 10-for-17. He scored 16 in the second half.

    "I'd say that was probably the first time this year where I actually hit a couple of shots in a row," said the third-year forward, who connected on 46.2 percent of his shots last season. "Hopefully, it carries on, and I can get back to being my old self."

    The Grizzlies have lost 11 of their last 13 games against the Hornets, including all four last season. Paul scored at least 40 in two of those games, including a career-high 43 on Dec. 7, and averaged 28.3 points and 11.8 assists in the series.

    Gay averaged 24.0 points and shot 51.4 percent against the Hornets last season.