NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 9th (All times eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (22-29) at Indiana Pacers (21-28), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Indiana hopes to bounce back from the first loss of the Frank Vogel-era when the Pacers entertain the Charlotte Bobcats in a key Eastern Conference matchup at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Coaching changes have fueled both clubs this season and the Pacers are just percentage points behind Charlotte for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
Indiana played extremely well in south Beach on Tuesday before eventually succumbing to the star-studded Miami Heat, 117-112. The Heat trailed by double digits in the third quarter and by nine early in the fourth, but limited the Pacers to 15 points in the final period to steal the win.
Roy Hibbert had 20 points and 10 boards to lead Indiana, which had won four in a row since Vogel was named interim head coach after Jim O'Brien was fired. Danny Granger finished with 19 points, while Tyler Hansbrough scored 18 off the Pacers' bench.
"They really picked it up," Granger said of the Heat defense. "It is a credit to them. We pretty much had the game all the way up until five minutes left in the fourth."
The Bobcats, meanwhile, are coming off one of their most impressive wins of the season, a 94-89 triumph over East-leading Boston on Monday in the Queen City. Gerald Wallace posted a double-double, finishing with a team-high 19 points and 16 rebounds in that one.
Shaun Livingston came off the bench to score 18 points, while Gerald Henderson hit some key shots down the stretch to finish with 15 for the Bobcats, who had dropped four of their previous five coming into the contest. Kwame Brown grabbed 12 boards in the win.
"It was just magical. I just can't say enough good things about this team," Bobcats interim head coach Paul Silas, who took over from Larry Brown earlier in the season, said about his team's effort. "They never quit and just hung in there and came away with the win."
The Pacers have won four straight Charlotte, including a pair of meetings so far this season.
Former-Pacer star Stephen Jackson leads Charlotte in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game, but has managed just 25 points in the two games versus Indiana. The volatile Jackson was also ejected against Boston after consecutive technical fouls and has 13 on the year, three short of an automatic one-game suspension.
02/09 10:39:00 ET