NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 7th (All times eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (2-5) at Indiana Pacers (5-2), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Indiana Pacers aim to stay unbeaten at home when they play host to the Charlotte Bobcats tonight at Conseco Fieldhouse.
The Pacers are 2-0 in their friendly confines and split a four-game road trip, culminating with Friday's 87-74 victory at Boston. Danny Granger led six Pacers in double-figures with 15 points, while Darren Collison had 14 points, George Hill added 13 and Roy Hibbert posted 11 points and 12 rebounds for Indiana, which held Boston to 39 percent shooting and improved to 5-2 on the young season.
"We really are taking that next step to become a defensive team. We really want it to be our niche," Collison said. "We have a lot of offensive power on our team, but the only are we going to win games and get to where you want to go is on the defensive end."
Indiana snapped a seven-game skid in Boston and got 12 points apiece out of Paul George and Tyler Hansbrough. The Pacers hit 41 percent of their shots and also received two points and 10 boards from newcomer David West.
Charlotte has lost five of six games since opening the condensed season with a win versus Milwaukee. It is coming off Friday's 102-96 overtime loss versus Atlanta, as D.J. Augustin totaled 21 points and 12 assists for Charlotte, which got a season-best 19 points from rookie Kemba Walker and 17 out of Byron Mullens.
"We have a lot of new players from last year," Bobcats head coach Paul Silas said. "It takes time to get your principles down."
Silas' club could have some trouble down the road now that forward Corey Maggette is expected to miss two to four weeks with a hamstring injury. The Bobcats were coming off a win at New York on Wednesday and will play two straight and three of four games away from home.
Indiana swept a four-game series from Charlotte a year ago and is unbeaten in the past six matchups between the two clubs. The Bobcats have lost their last five trips to Conseco Fieldhouse are 3-10 in 13 all-time meetings at Indiana.
01/07 10:46:20 ET