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- The Hornets announced Friday that forward Jason Smith will miss the final 23 games of the season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Smith will have surgery next week to repair the tear. “With the way he plays the game, there’s no way he could have finished the season this that injury,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said. “He fought through a lot but at some point you have to be the brains for these guys and keep them from hurting themselves.”
- Hornets’ rookie forward Anthony Davis also will sit out, missing his second consecutive game with what team officials are describing as a sprained left shoulder. Williams, however, called the injury a bone bruise found when Davis underwent an MRI on Wednesday. Davis had no other “significant” damage, Williams said. Williams said small forward Al-Farouq Aminu and reserve forward Lance Thomas will likely see minutes at that position.
- Expected Hornets starters: (F) Aminu; (F) Anderson; (C) Robin Lopez; (G) Eric Gordon; (G) Greivis Vasquez
- Pistons center Greg Monroe will play in New Orleans, his hometown, for only the second time in his career. Detroit didn’t play in New Orleans his sophomore season because of the lockout. Still, he doesn’t view the trip as anything more than a road game. “It’s special just to be back with my family during the season but other than that I just look at it as another road game,” said Monroe, who wasn’t sure how many ticket requests he entertained. “It’s all business. It’s a game we’re trying to win and that’s all I’m focused on.”
- Expected Piston starters: (F) Kyle Singler; (F) Jason Maxiel; (C) Monroe; (G) Brandon Knight; (G) Jose Calderon
- Bradley Handwerger