NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 19th (All times eastern)
Indiana Pacers (18-35) at New Orleans Hornets (28-26), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Hoping to halt a three-game losing streak, the Indiana Pacers kick off a four-game road trip this evening at New Orleans Arena against a Hornets club that continues to struggle without guard Chris Paul.
The Pacers will try to avoid losing four straight for the first time since a season-long eight-game skid from December 18-30 and are coming off Wednesday's 90-87 setback to the San Antonio Spurs.
Indiana bridged the third and fourth quarters with a 23-3 run, but the team with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference couldn't hold off San Antonio.
"If you would've told me we would hold them to 36 percent shooting, I would think we had a chance," Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien said. "The story of the game was the glass. They got 20 points on second chance opportunities."
Danny Granger finished with 23 points and eight rebounds for the Pacers, while Roy Hibbert and T.J. Ford each donated 14 points. Hibbert also grabbed seven rebounds in the setback.
Indiana is just 6-20 on the road this year, dropping four of six and 13 of its last 16 as the guest.
The Pacers visit a Hornets team tonight that is 3-5 since Paul went down with a knee injury in late January. New Orleans' latest setback came on Wednesday, a 98-90 defeat at the hands of Utah.
Darren Collison had 24 points and nine assists for the Hornets, while Peja Stojakovic also scored 24. Marcus Thornton donated 14 points, but standout forward David West was held to just five on 2-of-9 shooting.
"All in all [we] played well for stretches, just not enough to beat Jazz," Hornets head coach Jeff Bower said.
New Orleans also lost another player in the game, as forward Darius Songaila exited early with a sprained right ankle that leaves him questionable for tonight.
The Hornets, three games back of a playoff spot in the West, are 1-1 on a four-game homestand and have lost five of their last six as the host.
Thanks to 22 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds by Paul, the Hornets posted a 101-96 victory over the Pacers on January 16, their fourth straight win in the series. West added 24 points and six rebounds.
Hibbert had a career-high 27 points to go with 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who have won three of their last four on the road versus the Hornets. That includes a pair of victories when the Hornets were playing out of Oklahoma City because of Hurricane Katrina.
02/19 11:02:06 ET