T.J. McConnell
(NBAE/Getty Images)

Game Preview: Pacers at Hornets

Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7:00 PM ET at Spectrum Center

Game Preview

After winning three contests in a four-game homestand, the Indiana Pacers look to take its positive momentum on the road.

The Pacers (6-6) will travel to the Charlotte Hornets (4-11) on Wednesday, which snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 112-106 victory over the Orlando Magic (4-10) Monday.

Indiana has strung together a series of strong performances since Nov. 4, beating the Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans and Toronto Raptors while losing to the Denver Nuggets by just three points.

On Saturday, against the Raptors, the Pacers trailed 90-82 after 36 minutes before outscoring the visitors 36-14 in the fourth quarter. 

Six Pacers scored in double-digits against the Raptors, led by 22 points from Buddy Hield – who has scored at least 20 points in six games this season  – 19 points and 10 rebounds by Myles Turner, 16 points by Jalen Smith and 15 points by rookie Bennedict Mathurin. From the field, the Pacers shot 50 percent (19-for-43 3-point) while holding the Raptors to 39.4 percent shooting.

Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton finished with 15 assists in the game – an individual season high for dimes dished.

In Charlotte’s win against the Magic, seven different players scored in double-digits, with six tallying at least 14. Center Mason Plumlee led the Hornets with 18 points and 10 rebounds while guards LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier each scored 17. 

Thus far this season, the Pacers are averaging 117.3 points per game, which is second-highest in the NBA, while the Hornets are ranked 26th in scoring at 108.7 points per game. Indiana is averaging the second-most 3-pointers made per game at 15.5 while the Hornets are 23rd at 10.8.

On the defensive end, the Pacers are ranked No. 26 in points allowed per game at 117.2 while the Hornets are 19th at 114.7.

Indiana is 2-3 on the road this season and Charlotte is 1-5 at home.

The two teams have already met once this calendar year, but it was during a preseason matchup on Oct. 5. Indiana won that game in Charlotte 122-97.

Five Pacers scored in double figures, led by 16 from Aaron Nesmith and 15 points from Mathurin while the team shot 48.5 percent (6-for-30 3-point) in the preseason game. Terry Rozier led all scorers by putting up 18 points for Charlotte, which made just 34.4 percent of its shots (33-for-96 field goals).

The Pacers dominated in the paint in the preseason outing, outsourcing the Hornets 72-42. 

Last season, the Hornets had the Pacers’ number - sweeping Indiana 4-0 in games played. The Hornets have won six consecutive games over the Pacers.

Projected Starters

Pacers: G - Tyrese Haliburton, G - Andrew Nembhard, F - Buddy Hield, F - Jalen Smith, C - Myles Turner

Hornets: G - LaMelo Ball, G - Terry Rozier, F - Kelly Oubre Jr., F - P.J. Washington, C - Mason Plumlee

Injury Report

Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton - questionable (right ankle sprain), Chris Duarte - out (left ankle sprain), Daniel Theis - out (sore right knee)

Hornets: Dennis Smith Jr. - doubtful (left ankle sprain), Gordon Hayward - out (left shoulder contusion), Cody Martin - out (left knee procedure)

Last Meeting

Jan. 26, 2022: Charlotte scored a franchise record for points in a game with a 158-126 victory over Indiana.

In the high-scoring affair, the Pacers trailed 71-70 at intermission before the Hornets put up a franchise-best 87 points in the second half.

The 158 points by the Hornets were also the most points scored in a single game by any team during the 2021-2022 season. The largest lead in the game was 36 points for the Hornets.

The Hornets tied its franchise high with 24 made 3-pointers in the game, led by Kelly Oubre Jr. who sank 10 triples for a game-high 39 points. Ball recorded a triple-double with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists and Rozier collected 20 points.

For the Pacers, Goga Bitdaze and Isaiah Jackson topped the team with 17 points each.

From the floor, the Hornets shot 58.1 (24-for-45 3-point) to the Pacers’ 47.8 percent (10-for-34 3-point).

Noteworthy
  • Top of the pass: Through four weeks, Haliburton leads all NBA players with 124 total assists while also boasting a league-high 10.3 assists per game. He’s currently the only player in the NBA averaging at least 10 assists. He has the most double-doubles with points/assists in the league with seven.
  • Sharing is caring: Indiana is averaging the third-most assists per game as a team at 28.8. Against Toronto the Pacers finished with 33 total assists to the Raptors' 14.
  • Getting over the hump: With a win against the Hornets, the Pacers can go above .500 for the first time since Feb. 23, 2020.
  • Upping his game: Turner has averaged career-highs in points per game (17.9) and rebounds per game (8.9) this season. On Saturday, the Pacers center recorded a third straight double-double.
  • Hoosier connections: Hayward, a former Butler University star who led the Bulldogs to the 2010 men’s basketball championship game, was born in Indianapolis and attended Brownsburg High School. Plumlee was born in Fort Wayne and attended Warsaw Community High School before transferring to Christ School in Arden, North Carolina, after his freshman year.
Broadcast Information (TV and Radio Listings >>)

TV: Bally Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)

Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)

Tickets

The Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to tip off their next homestand against Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7:00 PM ET Find Tickets >>