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NBA schedule 2012: Wizards go west for winnable back-to-back

The Washington Wizards play a pair of sub-.500 teams from the Western Conference this week, as they face the New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets on the road.


The Washington Wizards head on the road to take on a pair of Western Conference teams riding losing streaks this weekend.

Washington will try to play more like the team that recently won two of three games, rather than the one that lost its first 12 and its last two. The wins over the Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat didn't carry over into its back-to-back against the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors. Jordan Crawford has been playing the best basketball of his three-year career, leading the team in scoring off the bench, but the offense still isn't fully there without John Wall -- who could be out for even longer than expected.

Luckily, both teams on the schedule are struggling as well. The New Orleans Hornets have only won five games -- a number the Wizards could be close to if some things had bounced their way -- as they try to piece together wins with Anthony Davis out. Ryan Anderson is leading the way in scoring and rebounding, but there's a lot of inexperience and a lot of role players playing major minutes. And the Houston Rockets have been thrilled with James Harden's production -- his 39-point outing Saturday night was his fifth 30-point game of the season -- but Jeremy Lin has looked very much like a normal NBA player instead of a superstar as he did last year with the Knicks. Coach Kevin McHale is now back with the team after spending a month away from the court while coping with the tragic sickness and death of his 23-year-old daughter.

Here's a look at the Wizards' upcoming schedule, as well as nationally broadcast games this week:

Monday, Dec. 10

Detroit Pistons vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 7 p.m., NBATV

Tuesday, Dec. 11

New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets, 7:00 p.m., ESPN

Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Hornets, 8 p.m., Comcast SportsNet-Mid Atlantic

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Chicago Bulls, 9:30 p.m., ESPN

Wednesday, Dec. 12

Washington Wizards vs. Houston Rockets, 8 p.m., Comcast SportsNet-Mid Atlantic

Dallas Mavericks vs. Boston Celtics, 8 p.m., ESPN

Thursday, Dec. 13

Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks, 8 p.m., TNT

San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m., TNT