The fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse will be treated to a game between the Charlotte Hornets and the Indiana Pacers when they take their seats on Monday.
Charlotte Hornets vs. Indiana Pacers
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, December 12, 2016
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
|501||CHARLOTTE||-1 (-110)||212 (-110)||-105
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Charlotte), FSN Indiana
PREDICTION: Hornets 103, Pacers 101
Oddsmakers currently have the Hornets listed as 1½-point favorites versus the Pacers, while the game’s total is sitting at 210.
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers will host the Charlotte Hornets in an Eastern Conference showdown on Monday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the Hornets hope to have their top player.
Guard Kemba Walker suffered a left knee contusion Saturday night against Cleveland, but said he expects to play Monday night.
“It’s not bad at all,” Walker said. “At the moment it looked pretty bad, but I’m good.”
Walker has scored 20 or more points in six of the past nine games.
The Pacers (12-12) are coming off a big comeback win over Portland on Saturday night. They gave up 71 points at halftime and trailed by 20 at one point, but still managed to come back and win the game.
Paul George outscored the Blazers by himself in the fourth quarter, putting 15 points on the board in those final 12 minutes. He had 37 points for the game.
“I’m supposed to be trusted in those situations,” George said. “That’s the guy I want to be for this team.”
Indiana coach Nate McMillan is hoping his team will find some consistency.
“When you play the game the right way, you get rewarded for that,” McMillan said. “Turnovers and one-on-one ball won’t get it done. We’ve got to bring consistency to both ends of the floor every night.”
Indiana may be without starting guard Monta Ellis. He left the Portland game with a sore groin and is listed as questionable.
The Pacers have been around the .500 mark all season, but have been a lot better team at home (9-4) compared to the road (3-8).
The Charlotte Hornets (14-10) have actually been a little better on the road (6-4) than at home (8-6) this season and they’ve been a tough matchup for the Pacers in recent years.
They already defeated the Pacers earlier this season, 122-100 in Charlotte. The Hornets also swept the three-game season series against Indiana last season.
In their first matchup of this season, Charlotte got to the line 32 times, while the Pacers took just 15 attempts.
The Hornets just had their three-game winning streak snapped on Saturday, losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers 116-105. They were unable to contain LeBron James, who scored 44 points.
“I’m just disappointed in the way we started,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. “You can’t let those guys get easy ones early. That’s when you have problems.”
Roy Hibbert will be playing his first game in Indiana against his former team. When he played with the Lakers last season, he was injured and didn’t play the game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Hibbert spent his first seven seasons with the Pacers.
On the other side, Al Jefferson will be playing against his former team as well. He spent the last three seasons as a member of the Charlotte Hornets.
Both teams are in the top half of the league in points per game, assists, and pace of play. The Hornets have shown better defense for the season, but that will be put to the test against the red-hot George.
These teams won’t meet again until they play twice in the month of March.