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Hornets' sick bay filling up
Bulls catch Hornets in thick of scoring slump
Jackson joins Peja, West on injury list

By Darnell Mayberry Published: December 1, 2006
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Mired in their worst scoring drought since the 2004-05 season, the Hornets likely will now be without three of their top four scorers for tonight's game against the Chicago Bulls at the Ford Center.

Reserve guard Bobby Jackson, who sustained bruised ribs in Tuesday night's game against the Toronto Raptors, is expected to join starting power forward David West and starting shooting guard Peja Stojakovic on the injury list tonight. It would be the first game Jackson has missed this season, leaving the Hornets without their explosive sixth man.

Stojakovic will miss his third straight game with a back injury, and West will miss his ninth consecutive game because of an injured right elbow. If Jackson fails to play, the Hornets will be without a combined average of 46.1 points, 16.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

Jackson's injury comes at a time when the Hornets are averaging 78 points on 37.8 percent shooting over the past four games, all losses. The Hornets haven't averaged fewer points over a four-game span since Nov. 28-Dec. 4 of 2004, when they averaged 73.2 points and finished 18-64.

"Everybody on this team has to know that everybody has to step up," said Jackson, who is listed as questionable for tonight's game but said Wednesday that he likely won't play. "It makes it that much harder to win games when you don't have (your main scorers).

"We can't make excuses, because injuries happen to everybody. We just almost have to play a perfect game. We can't have a bad shooting night."

But the players who are being counted on to produce more now have all been stuck in shooting slumps over the past four games.

Marc Jackson, who is starting in place of West, has made just nine of 33 shots.

Rasual Butler, who is starting for Stojakovic, has made just 10 of 36 shots.

Desmond Mason and Jannero Pargo have both been average, making 15 of their past 37 shots.

"I can't play for them," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "I can't take shots.

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