Timing is everything: The 10-25 Hornets have won three consecutive games, including home victories over San Antonio and Houston, after losing 14 of 16. The three victories coincided with the return of often-injured guard Eric Gordon.

Players to watch: Gordon missed the season's first 29 games, then had 24 points and seven assists in his first game back, at Charlotte on Dec. 29. ... Third-year point guard Greivis Vasquez is an early candidate for most improved player, averaging 18.9 points and 10.6 assists in his past six games.

Injuries: Wolves G J.J. Barea missed Wednesday's game because of back spasms and traveled to Dallas to get treatment. He is doubtful. F Kevin Love (fractured hand), G Brandon Roy (knee surgery), F Chase Budinger (knee surgery) and G Malcolm Lee (knee) all are out. The Hornets report no injuries.