Hornets aim to get defensive in meeting with Pacers
(Sports Network) - Defense has been an Achilles' heel for the New Orleans Hornets during their four-game losing streak. Not having standout rookie Anthony Davis hasn't helped either.
The Hornets will try to clamp down and hope Davis is ready to return from a sore left ankle when they open a four-game road trip Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers. The Hornets have allowed 100 or more points during the slide and Davis missed Tuesday's 102-80 loss to the New York Knicks.
Ryan Anderson and rookie Austin Rivers posted 15 and 14 points, respectively, for New Orleans, which shot 42 percent for the game and were outrebounded by the Knicks, 49-36. Anderson started in place of Davis and leads the Hornets in scoring with 16.4 ppg.
"We made a lot of youthful plays," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said. "I thought we took some very tough shots against a very good team and you can't do that."
New York had faith in its 3-point shooting and made 14-of-36 from beyond the arc. Davis, who missed his third game of the season, is day-to-day and will travel with the team. The Hornets trailed by as many as 26 points versus the Knicks and also will visit the Suns, Nuggets and Clippers on the road swing.
Indiana has alternated wins and losses in its last four games and will play two straight as the host versus the Hornets and Spurs.
The Pacers are coming off Monday's 96-89 victory over the winless Washington Wizards and were led by David West's season-high 30 points. Roy Hibbert also had a season high in points, finishing with 20 and a game-best 12 rebounds for Indiana, which had a 46-36 edge on the boards and put the brakes on a six-game road losing streak.
Indiana's six-game road skid was the longest since a nine-game slump in 2010-11.
"I just want to be aggressive ... I've been playing like some crap, and I'm sick and tired of it. It's time for a change," Hibbert lamented.
George Hill had 12 points in the win and helped the Pacers build a 20-point lead in the third quarter. The Pacers, one of the lowest-scoring teams with 88.8 ppg, are still without top forward Danny Granger because of a knee issue.
Indiana hopes to maintain its home-court advantage and is 38-16 in the last 54 regular season games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers won both meetings with the Hornets last season and are 3-1 in the previous four matchups between the teams.
11/21 10:51:33 ET