Hornets open homestand versus Pacers

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Hornets hope to erase the memories of their recent setback when they open a three-game homestand Sunday versus the Indiana Pacers at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The Hornets blew a comfortable 16-point lead in the first half of Saturday's 89-81 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers and only led 48-42 at halftime. Philadelphia's defense prevented Charlotte from its fourth straight win and 13th in the last 16 tries.

"We had no juice to start the game," Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford said. "We weren't ready to play. They played harder than we did and outworked us. That's why we lost."

Al Jefferson led the visitors with 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Gerald Henderson and Marvin Williams scored 17 and 13 points, respectively, for the Hornets, who struggled from the field at 34.5 percent shooting.

Charlotte will also host Detroit and Oklahoma City, and has won five in a row at home. The Hornets have a 13-13 record at Time Warner Cable Arena.

In injury news for the Hornets, forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (hamstring) is expected to miss Sunday's game. He played almost 14 minutes in Philly and managed five points and three rebounds. MKG is averaging 10.2 points and 7.2 rebounds for Charlotte, which is already without Kemba Walker (knee surgery).

Meanwhile, the Pacers recently knocked off the red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers and hope to keep the momentum going.

George Hill converted a gutsy four-point play with 1:26 remaining and made a one-handed 3-pointer to help erase a 13-point second half deficit. Hill scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, made 12-of-15 foul shots and finished with 20 points for Indiana, which grabbed its first lead of the night at 84-83 and scored a season-high 36 points in the fourth quarter.

"I think with George (Hill) back in the lineup... He pushes the tempo for us, gets us in the right flow," Pacers forward David West said.

Hill missed plenty of time earlier this season and is back healthy.

C.J. Miles led the Pacers with 26 points and West added 20 and 13 rebounds.

Indiana went 3-2 on its homestand and halted Cleveland's 12-game winning streak. It will host the San Antonio Spurs Monday night.

The Pacers and Hornets have split the first two games this season and will meet again April 3 in Indy. Indiana has won 15 of the last 18 games in this series.