Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/21

Game 1: Wednesday, January 21st
Game 2: Sunday, March 1st

Hornets 99

(36-22, 15-13 away)

Nets 96

(26-33, 13-18 home)

    Coverage: YES

    6:00 PM ET, March 1, 2009

    IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

    1 2 3 4 T
    NO 22 26 28 2399
    NJ 18 23 34 2196

    Top Performers

    NO: D. West 32 Pts, 11 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    NJ: D. Harris 26 Pts, 3 Reb, 14 Ast, 2 Stl

    Hornets-Nets Preview


    Devin Harris was struggling through his worst slump of the season the last time he faced Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets, but he's had little trouble since and is leading the New Jersey Nets' playoff push.

    Harris, coming off two outstanding games, looks to avenge a loss to Paul and the Hornets as two of the league's premier young point guards face off Sunday night.

    In this season's first meeting between the teams, Harris was held to six points on 1-for-11 shooting as New Jersey (26-32) fell 102-92 at New Orleans (35-22) on Jan. 21. Paul nearly posted a triple-double, finishing with 29 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

    Harris scored seven points in his previous contest, a 105-85 loss to Boston on Jan. 17. Since facing the Hornets, though, he has scored at least 20 in 10 of 16 games.

    Harris had 19 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter of a 111-99 win over Chicago on Wednesday night, two days after scoring 39 and hitting a buzzer-beating half-court shot for a 98-96 win over Philadelphia.

    "You're not going to get 39 and 42 every night," coach Lawrence Frank said. "He's an All-Star. I think he's playing like one. I think he understands the moment and where we're at in keeping our eyes on the prize and how valuable every game is. He's leading by example."

    Harris is leading the postseason charge for New Jersey, which is challenging for one of the final spots in the Eastern Conference.

    "Now is the time," Harris said. "We really can't wait anymore. We can't be patient. I'd rather be aggressive than passive. Being more aggressive on offense is what I'm trying to do right now."

    He's No. 1 in scoring among the league's point guards, averaging 22.3 points. Harris will be matched up with Paul, who is second in that category with 21.5 a contest.

    Paul, the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft, is averaging a league-best 11.0 assists and 2.7 steals. Harris, selected fifth overall in 2004, posts 6.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

    Paul is coming off a stellar game of his own, finishing with a season-high 20 assists in a 95-94 win over Milwaukee on Friday night. He came within one assist of matching his career high, set in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 6, 2007.

    But Paul was held to nine points, failing to reach double figures for the first time this season, and the Hornets needed a tip-in by Tyson Chandler with 3.3 seconds left to beat the Bucks after blowing a 17-point lead with four minutes remaining.

    "We've got to learn to close out games," Paul said.

    New Orleans tried to trade Chandler to Oklahoma City last week, but he failed his physical. Chandler, hampered by various injuries this season, is averaging 13.0 points and 12.0 rebounds while shooting 68.2 percent (15-for-22) from the field in his last three games after missing a month with a sprained left ankle.