When: 7:00 p.m. EST
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Indiana
As the Hornets near the end of their current six game road-trip, there is still plenty of business to take care of. While the Cleveland Cavaliers ended Charlotte's five game winning streak on Wednesday, the Hornets are still playing some of their best basketball of the season. Behind Kemba Walker's 24.4 points per game average in the month of February, the Hornets currently find themselves in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Indiana Pacers on the other hand, are currently sitting in the fifth spot, but only have a one and a half game advantage over the Hornets. This means tonight's game carries more importance than most because of the effect it can have on the standings.
These two teams last met right before the All-Star break where the Hornets won comfortably, 117-95. The Pacers were unable to fully recover after a strong second quarter from the Hornets. Along with Walker's 25 points, the Hornets made 12 three pointers and had 24 assists, both of which are higher than their season averages.
However, the Pacers have now won three out of four since the break, with the one loss coming in overtime to the Miami Heat. In all four of those games, the Pacers have scored above 100 points, which is something they failed to do in the lone meeting with the Hornets. Also, the Pacers will look to get more from their bench unit, which was outscored 33-54 in that game. Look for C.J. Miles and Jordan Hill to be their main contributors off the bench.
In order for the Hornets to get back on track, they'll need to play much better defense than they did against the Cavaliers. In transition, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving picked apart the Hornets with 28 total fast break points, and the Pacers will look to do the same. To prevent those opportunities, the Hornets will need to limit their turnovers, a stat they have failed to improve since the break.