The Indiana Pacers (3-3) are traveling down South for the first time this season to take on the Charlotte Hornets (3-3) at Spectrum Center. They'll look to extend their winning streak to four games and halt the Hornets winning streak at two.
The Hornets are hosting the Pacers after splitting a four-game road trip on the West Coast. After dropping their first two games against the Los Angeles Lakers (120-101) and the Los Angeles Clippers (111-96), they picked up wins over the Sacramento Kings (118-111) and the Golden State Warriors (93-87) to close out the trip.
The Blue & Gold will have to find ways to limit the sharpshooters of the Hornets. As a team, they've taken the NBA's 11th-most 3-pointers this season and are averaging the fifth-best 3-point shooting percentage (38.5 percent). Second-year guard from Kansas Devonte' Graham is 17-for-36 (47.2 percent) from beyond the arc this season. In addition, NBA veteran forward Marvin Williams is 10-of-21 (47.6 percent) from deep this season. In comparison, the Pacers rank 23rd overall in the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage (32.2 percent) and have taken a league-low 149 attempts.
Ever since the second half of their second game against the Detroit Pistons, the Pacers' defense appears to have turned a corner. The Blue & Gold now boast the NBA's 11th-best defense, limiting opponents to just 102.1 points per 100 possessions. The Hornets have the league's 20th-ranked offense at 104.3 points per 100 possessions. If the Pacers can limit the damage done by the Hornets' long-range shooters and push the game inside the 3-point line, they'll have a decent chance to walk away from Charlotte with a victory.
Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Jeremy Lamb, SF - T.J. Warren, PF - JaKarr Sampson, C - Goga Bitadze
Hornets: PG - Terry Rozier, SG - Dwayne Bacon, SF - Miles Bridges, PF - PJ Washington, C - Cody Zeller
Pacers: Domantas Sabonis - questionable (left calf contusion), Myles Turner - doubtful (right ankle sprain), Victor Oladipo - out (right knee surgery rehab), Edmond Sumner - out (right hand fracture)
Hornets: Nicolas Batum - out (left finger fracture)
February 11, 2019: After starting poorly in his debut as a Pacer, Wesley Matthews came in clutch during the final minutes of the fourth quarter. The Hornets trimmed a 14-point lead to seven thanks to the outstanding play of Kemba Walker. But Matthews made sure the Pacers remained in control by hitting two crucial 3-pointers down the final stretch to lead the Blue & Gold to a 99-90 victory. They managed to withstand the onslaught from Walker, who finished with a game-high 34 points.
"Honestly, I wasn't worried about the offensive end," Matthews said after the win. "This team has been playing extremely well and the last thing I want to do was to mess it up...Obviously I would've liked one (shot) to fall in the first half. But they came when I needed them."
In addition to Matthews' eight-point, five-rebound performance, Myles Turner recorded a team-high 18 points, eight rebounds, three steals, and three blocks in the win. Darren Collison added 13 points, four rebounds and eight assists. In all, five Pacers finished the game in double figures to help secure the victory.
- New Pacer Jeremy Lamb played for the Hornets from 2015-19. Lamb finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, and two assists for Charlotte before fouling out in the last meeting between the Hornets and the Pacers.
- The Blue & Gold hold a 66-44 all-time record against the Hornets in the regular season, and have won three of the last five meetings between the teams.
- The Pacers have held the Hornets to under 100 points in the last two matchups.
- With a victory, the Pacers will stretch their winning streak against the Hornets to three games.
The Pacers return home to host Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards at Bankers Life Fiedhouse on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (studio host)