Stephenson returns to Indy as Hornets face Pacers

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(SportsNetwork.com) - A familiar face will be back in Bankers Life Fieldhouse Wednesday night when the Indiana Pacers host the Charlotte Hornets.

Lance Stephenson will be donning his new Hornets jersey and makes his return to Indiana, where he believes the crowd will not be on his side.

"Honestly," Stephenson said on IndyStar.com. "I think I'm going to get booed."

Stephenson played very well for the Pacers in his time with the team and decided to join the Hornets in the offseason.

"He is a great up-and-coming player with an incredibly high ceiling," Charlotte general manager Rich Cho said when the team signed him. "He is an exceptional athlete who has the versatility and skill to play multiple positions on both offense and defense. We believe he will be an outstanding addition to our roster."

In 11 games this season, Stephenson is averaging 9.5 points and leads the team in rebounds (9.2) and assists (5.3). Still, the talented player has an uncomfortable feeling going into this matchup.

"I'm nervous," Stephenson continued. "Just to see the fans' reaction of my decision. I seen 'em boo Jermaine O'Neal. I've seen 'em boo Ron Artest, of course, but I don't know. I'm interested to see what will happen."

Charlotte has lost two straight and four of five games, including Monday's 107-80 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Gerald Henderson had 18 points and both Kemba Walker and Jannero Pargo finished with 11 for the Hornets.

"For the second time in a row we just didn't have any, really I would say a readiness and approach to fight for a win," Hornets head coach Steve Clifford said. "At Golden State (on Saturday) and tonight, when things went poorly we just didn't have the fight."

The ravaged Pacers have won three of four games. and are coming off Saturday's 99-90 victory over the rival Chicago Bulls. Solomon Hill had 21 points and 12 rebounds, while A.J. Price added 21 points off the bench for the Pacers, who shot 48.1 percent and got 21 points and 11 rebounds from Luis Scola.

"We started the game well, we maintained the momentum, we got ahead on the scoreboard and never looked back," Scola said. "I think it was a complete game."

Indiana was 2-1 against Charlotte last season and has won 15 of the previous 18 meetings. The Pacers have won 10 in a row at home in this series.