Raptors
Pelicans
107 - 90 Final
  for this game

Raptors-Hornets Preview

Nov 6, 2009 - 6:37 AM By MATT BECKER STATS Senior Writer

Toronto (2-2) at New Orleans (2-3), 8:00 p.m. EDT

After leading New Orleans to consecutive playoff berths, Chris Paul has been disappointed with the Hornets' sluggish start to 2009-10. Even after winning a difficult game last time out, he knows the team still has plenty of work to do.

Paul and the Hornets look for further improvements on the defensive end Friday night when they host the Toronto Raptors.

New Orleans (2-3) won the Southwest Division two years ago and finished with 49 wins last season to earn the seventh seed in the Western Conference playoffs, but it opened the new campaign with three losses in its first four games.

Prior to Wednesday's game against Dallas, coach Byron Scott criticized his players for their poor start. The team responded with a 114-107 overtime victory.

Peja Stojakovic hit a game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation and Paul scored six of his 39 points in the extra session for New Orleans, which improved to 2-0 at home.

Perhaps later this season, the Hornets will look back on Scott's rant as a turning point, but Paul realizes they were fortunate not to have fallen to 1-4.

The Mavericks missed three free throws in the final 10 seconds setting up the dramatic 3 by Stojakovic for his only points of the night.

"Just because we win one game doesn't mean everything's solved," said Paul, who is averaging 30.0 points on 64.3 percent shooting. "The funny thing is, if they make a couple of those free throws and we lose this game, all the questions are: What's still wrong?"

To eliminate those kinds of questions, New Orleans needs to improve its defense and rebounding.

The Hornets were fifth in the league in scoring defense in 2008-09 at 94.3 points but are allowing an average of 105.2 this season. They're also struggling to control the glass despite having newcomer Emeka Okafor and David West inside, surrendering an average of 12.0 offensive rebounds, ninth-worst in the league.

"We are starting to understand what we need to do defensively and we just have to continue to work on it tomorrow and the next day and the next day and get it in embedded into our heads," Scott said.

Trying to shore up any defensive miscues won't be easy against Toronto. The Raptors (2-2) are third in the league in scoring (108.5) and boast one of the NBA's best rebounders in Chris Bosh.

In Wednesday's 110-99 win over Detroit, Bosh had 25 points and eight rebounds, falling two shy of his fourth double-double in four games.

Andrea Bargnani picked up the slack on the boards, finishing a career-high 12 rebounds to go with 22 points for his first double-double of the season.

"We want more of that," said Bosh, who is averaging 29.5 points and 13.0 rebounds. "He did a really good job on the boards tonight. That shows that if he really asserts himself on the boards, he can be a factor for us in rebounding. We need that, we need all the rebounds we can get."

Bargnani, off to a fast start by averaging a career-high 22.0 points per game, finished with a total of 23 and five rebounds in two games against the Hornets in 2008-09, both losses.

This contest starts a difficult stretch for the Raptors, who play seven of their next eight on the road.






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    Raptors 107, Pelicans 90  FinalNov 7 3:25 AM


  • NBA
    TORONTO 107
    NEW ORLEANS 90 FINAL

    Nov 6 10:26 PM


  • NBA
    END 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 19 30 34 83
    NEW ORLEANS 23 28 14 65 END 3RD QTR
    HIGH SCORERS AFTER 3RD QUARTER
    TOR - CHRIS BOSH 23, HEDO TURKOGLU 16, TWO
    PLAYERS WITH 14
    NOR - CHRIS PAUL 17, BOBBY BROWN 8,
    DAVID WEST 8

    Nov 6 9:54 PM
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    Raptors 54, Pelicans 56  3rd - 10:10Nov 6 9:32 PM
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    Raptors 51, Pelicans 56  3rd - 10:40Nov 6 9:32 PM
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    Raptors 51, Pelicans 54  3rd - 10:50Nov 6 9:31 PM
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    Raptors 49, Pelicans 54  3rd - 11:07Nov 6 9:31 PM


  • NBA
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 19 30 49
    NEW ORLEANS 23 28 51 HALFTIME
    HIGH SCORERS AT HALFTIME
    TOR - CHRIS BOSH 16, JOSE CALDERON 9, HEDO
    TURKOGLU 7
    NOR - CHRIS PAUL 17, THREE PLAYERS WITH 6

    Nov 6 9:14 PM
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    Raptors 49, Pelicans 51  HalfNov 6 9:14 PM


  • NBA
    END 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 19 19
    NEW ORLEANS 23 23 END 1ST QTR
    HIGH SCORERS AFTER 1ST QUARTER
    TOR - HEDO TURKOGLU 5, JOSE CALDERON 4,
    DEMAR DEROZAN 4
    NOR - DAVID WEST 6, BOBBY BROWN 4,
    CHRIS PAUL 4

    Nov 6 8:41 PM