Davis expected to return when Pelicans face Hornets

The scenario was good news for the New Orleans Pelicans when Anthony Davis said his wrist was feeling better Friday.

Even better news for the Pelicans would be improvement by their slumping offense.

Davis will be in the lineup Saturday night as the Pelicans look to get their offense going when they visit the Charlotte Hornets in a matchup of teams outside of the playoff picture in their respective conferences.

Davis exited Wednesday's 94-87 loss to the Toronto Raptors due to a bruised left wrist. X-rays were negative and Davis said he was "good to go."

Davis was injured when he caught his wrist on the front rim and it resulted in him crashing to the court.

"I'm always on the floor, I think it's just the way I play," Davis told reporters after Friday's practice. "(I'm) diving in the stands or always trying to get a rebound or doing something acrobatic and I just end up on the floor. It is what it is, but I'll just live with it."

Since acquiring DeMarcus Cousins to pair with Davis, the Pelicans are 2-6 and their offensive numbers have stagnated. In those games, New Orleans is averaging 96.8 points, shooting 41.6 percent, including 30.2 percent from 3-point range while posting a 96.1 offensive rating.

Cousins and Davis have done their parts.

Cousins is averaging 22.1 points and 13.4 rebounds on 42.5 percent shooting, which is a slight dip from his numbers with the Sacramento Kings. Davis is averaging 28.3 and 9.8 rebounds since the trade.

In the losses, New Orleans has failed to crack 100 five times and the last three defeats are by seven points or less. The latest instant was Wednesday's 94-87 loss to the Raptors, when Toronto closed it out with an 11-3 spurt and shot 42 percent.

"We said it in pregame, we've got to get the ball in the basket," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. "You give up 94 points at home, you've got to find a way to win the game. You've got to find a way to get 95. Our defense was really good, but we can't score the basketball. That's been our struggle."

The most notable sign of regression on offense since the trade is Jrue Holiday.

Holiday was held to seven points Wednesday after shooting 1 of 9 and sitting for the final 17 minutes in Monday's loss at Utah. He is averaging 13.6 points on 38.9 percent shooting in his last six games and before the All-Star break, those figures were 16.3 points and 46.9 percent from the floor.

Those totals are inflated by the 22 Holliday totaled when Cousins was suspended. In the other games, Holiday is averaging 12.4 points on 35.8 percent shooting.

"I just want him to be Jrue Holiday ... just be Jrue Holiday and play how he plays, and he'll be fine."

Charlotte enters Saturday in its best four-game stretch in a while. The Hornets are 3-1 in their last four games after losing 14 of its previous 17 games from Jan. 23 to March 2.

The Hornets enjoyed their best showing in a regulation game in over two months when they coasted to a 121-81 rout of the Orlando Magic on Friday. Charlotte reached 120 for the sixth time this season by shooting a season-high 59.5 percent in its first wire-to-wire win of the season.

Holding leads has been difficult for the Hornets at times but Friday they were up 18 at halftime, 26 after three and their largest lead was 42.

"I liked the fact that we started well, good energy, good purpose of play," Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said. "We had the right attitude, the right approach. Sometimes being up 18, 19 is the worst place to be. We haven't been good this year in those situations. So playing well with the lead was good to see."

Kemba Walker scored 23 points and perhaps more importantly, rested in the fourth quarter. He took his break after shooting 9 of 13 and making 5 of 8 3-pointers.

"This was an important win," Walker said. "We just wanted to establish our play early on and do what we can. We played really great tonight. We made plays. Defensively, we were right on top of everything. So it was a great overall team win for us."

Since being held to 12 points Feb. 25 at Sacramento, Walker is averaging 28.7 points and shooting 48.2 percent.

New Orleans took the first meeting 121-116 in overtime at home on Nov. 19. Davis finished with 38 and 16 in 42 minutes and has averaged 25.6 points against the Hornets. Walker scored 25 points for Charlotte and is averaging 18.9 points in 11 games against the Pelicans.