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Preview: Hornets try to get back on track against the Pacers

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

What: Charlotte Hornets (26-22) at Indiana Pacers (17-31)

When: 7:00 pm EST

Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, IN

How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

The Hornets have had a couple of bad games in their last outings. On Sunday, they shot about as poorly as an NBA team could ever shoot en route to a blowout loss. On Tuesday, they made a few more shots, but they decided to not play defense in return and again lost by a lot of points.

Tonight, they will try to combine the better parts of those terrible losses and not lose. They play the Pacers, which has been a good antidote to their woes to this point in the season. The Hornets are 3-0 in the season series, though all of the games have been competitive and all of involved some sort of significant comeback.

The Pacers are continuing to struggle through a disappointing follow-up to last season’s playoff berth. They’re 3-13 in the 16 games they’ve played since the last meeting between these two teams. They’re now down Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner who are both dealing with nagging injuries along with Domantas Sabonis who is out as he recovers from a sprained ankle.

They’re led by Caris LeVert and Chris Duarte for the time being. LeVert tends to dominate most of the Pacers possessions while Duarte and the rest of the Pacers are mostly limited to spot up roles. The other main creator for the Pacers off the bench is former Hornets great Lance Stephenson, He made waves with a huge performance against the Nets early in his return to the Pacers, but he’s otherwise been largely unproductive.

The Hornets will be without Jalen McDaniels and probably Gordon Hayward once again. They’ll still have the talent advantage, but they’ll need to come out with more energy than they had against the Raptors. The Pacers are very limited in the shot creation department tonight, which should make defense easier as long as the Hornets are disciplined in their rotations and paint protection.

It’s a winnable game for the Hornets, but they’ve lost a couple of those in recent days. They need to get their mojo back to prepare them for a nationally televised showdown with the Lakers on Friday.