National Basketball Association
Preview
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 Indiana

ABOUT 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
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Charlotte 26-26 W2 19-9 7-17 3-2 23-24 5-6 16-13
Indiana 28-24 W2 17-8 11-16 0-1 28-23 5-6 18-11
Last Meeting
Charlotte Indiana
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/3/15 CHA 74 IND 93 74 42 35.0 93 55 43.4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Charlotte G. Henderson 12 38.5 1
Indiana R. Stuckey 15 50.0 1
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Charlotte B. Biyombo 9 4 5
Indiana L. Scola 11 3 8
Assists Player  
Charlotte M. Williams 4
Indiana G. Hill 10
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Charlotte K. Walker 1135 42.3 254
Indiana P. George 1345 41.3 336
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Charlotte M. Williams 381 87 294
Indiana P. George 414 57 357
Assists Player  
Charlotte K. Walker 282
Indiana M. Ellis 268
Quickchart Matchup
Charlotte Off vs  Indiana Defense
101.8 Points For
100.0 Points Against
42.8 FG%
44.0 FG%
44.1 Reb
44.9 Reb
Indiana Off vs  Charlotte Defense
102.7 Points For
101.0 Points Against
44.7 FG%
44.5 FG%
44.9 Reb
44.9 Reb