Bobcats-Pacers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 18, 2012
For the first time in more than a month, the Charlotte Bobcats are looking to build on a victory. Facing the Indiana Pacers will make that a difficult challenge. After snapping the longest losing streak in franchise history, the visiting Bobcats try to avoid an eighth consecutive defeat to the Pacers on Sunday night. Charlotte (4-26) still owns easily the worst record in the NBA, but the Bobcats have reason to be excited after they snapped a 16-game skid with a 98-91 win at Toronto on Friday. It was Charlotte's first victory since beating Golden State 112-100 at home Jan. 14. "Even though it's only our fourth win, it's just a win,'' said rookie guard Kemba Walker, who had 14 points and eight assists off the bench. "A win is a win. It's been a while. We're overdue.'' Reggie Williams scored 22 points, D.J. Augustin had 11 with 10 assists and rookie center Bismack Biyombo pulled down 13 rebounds as the Bobcats ended the losing streak the same day majority owner Michael Jordan celebrated his 49th birthday. "It's just really good to get the monkey off our back,'' said veteran forward Corey Maggette, who scored 16 points. "The last 16 times, we've come in the locker room with our heads down. It's good to see our guys really continue to work and stay positive.'' Consistently producing positive results could remain difficult considering Charlotte averages an league-low 86.9 points per contest and is 2-15 on the road. Charlotte has allowed an average of 102.6 points during a seven-game losing streak to the Pacers that dates to a 104-88 home victory Nov. 22, 2009. The Bobcats have also lost six in a row at Indiana since a 115-108 overtime victory there Nov. 28, 2008. Augustin scored 20 points and had seven rebounds at Indiana on Jan. 7, but the Bobcats shot 32.6 percent and were held to 28 points in the second half of a 99-77 loss. The Pacers (18-12) also enter this contest with some momentum after they snapped a season-high five-game losing streak with a 93-88 win over New Jersey on Thursday. After missing Wednesday's 98-87 loss at Cleveland, Danny Granger scored 32 points to lead Indiana. "A lot of times, when you get into a game and the adrenaline starts slowing, you're not in as much pain as you would normally be in,'' Granger said. "It's been a lot of icing, a lot of pain medication. But I felt it.'' Granger hopes his stellar effort will not hinder his chances of playing in this contest. Though he was limited to 13 points against the Bobcats last month, Granger is still averaging 25.9 in his last seven home games versus Charlotte. "Danny brings a lot," said teammate Paul George, who had 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals against the Nets. "He's our best scorer. He defends so well, with Danny out, that definitely hurt us.'' Pacers All-Star center Roy Hibbert, who has totaled 30 points in the last two games, scored 20 versus Charlotte earlier this season.
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