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Wizards Vs. Hornets: Washinton Trails at Halftime in New Orleans

The Washington Wizards held a slim lead against the Hornets late in the first quarter. Then New Orleans went on a 9-3 run to close out the quarter and take a 29-26 lead. That run continued into the second quarter as the Hornets separated to take an 11-point lead -- their largest of the game -- into the half.

Naturally, forward Jason Smith has done the bulk of the damage for the Hornets in spot duty for the injured Emeka Okafor. Smith has 15 points and has not missed a shot in seven attempts. This it-came-from-outer-space eruption comes two games after the unremarkable Darrell Arthur came off the bench for Memphis and went for 22 points and five boards. Just saying.

Chris Paul has also posed problems. He has 11 points, four rebounds and four assists.

The good news for the Wizards is that Nick Young and Andray Blatche appear to be back on track after a couple of off nights. Young leads Washington with 13 points and Blatche added eight. Just as important, the pair have shot an efficient 10 for 16 from the field.

John Wall has kicked off his defense of the Rookie of Month crown with four points, five rebounds and three assists.