National Basketball Association
Charlotte at Indiana
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
The Charlotte Hornets can glance at the Eastern Conference standings and notice that they are only two games behind the Indiana Pacers, who occupy the No. 6 spot, and are moving up. The Hornets will try to draw within a game and pull over .500 when they visit the Pacers on Wednesday.
Charlotte’s up-and-down season is on the upswing of late and features four wins in the last five games, including an impressive 108-91 thrashing of the Chicago Bulls on Monday and a win over Cleveland last week. Health is a big reason for the Hornets’ recent stretch, as the return of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist from a preseason shoulder injury solidified the defense on the wings and Nicolas Batum js overcoming a troublesome toe ailment to add firepower to the backcourt. The Pacers can relate to the roller-coaster nature of the season’s nominal first half and hope to head into the All-Star break with a little momentum after barely surviving the Los Angeles Lakers in an 89-87 win on Monday. The triumph was the fifth in the last seven games for Indiana, which showed off on the defensive end by holding Los Angeles to 31.2 percent from the floor.TV:
7 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Charlotte), FSN IndianaABOUT THE HORNETS (26-26):
Charlotte is still waiting for center Al Jefferson (knee) to recover from surgery but is otherwise whole, and the results of late have been impressive. Kidd-Gilchrist was always recognized as a top defender on the wing but is contributing on both ends and is averaging 13.5 points on 52.6 percent shooting in six games since his return, including a 20-point outburst in Monday’s triumph. Batum looked like a shell of himself while moving in and out of the lineup in January but has come on of late and averaged 22.5 points, 12 rebounds and 8.5 assists in the last two games to take some pressure off of star guard Kemba Walker.ABOUT THE PACERS (28-24):
Indiana has been up-and-down on a week-to-week basis and sometimes quarter-to-quarter, as was the case after they blew a 17-point third-quarter lead on Monday. All-Star Paul George scored all seven of his second-half points in the final minute-plus but finished 6-of-18 from the field, including 2-of-10 from 3-point range. “You have to figure out a way to get everybody on the same page going one direction,” Lakers star Kobe Bryant told reporters of his advice to George. “What I figured out is, it's not just about the skills you possess. It's also about how you integrate everybody else's skills and emotions into it, which is the challenge. So it's not just him as a player and his skills. It's also understanding those dynamics that help you win multiple championships.”BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Pacers are 11-1 when holding the opposition under 40 percent shooting.
2. Batum and Walker have combined to make 22 3-pointers in the last three games.
3. Indiana took three of the four meetings last season, with the lone setback coming at Charlotte in overtime on Jan. 17, 2015.PREDICTION:
Hornets 103, Pacers 101
Stats and Records