Indiana (4-7) at New Orleans (9-3)

Fair Currently: New Orleans, LA
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Wed Nov 21, 2007
  • TV: FSIN, CST
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Although they’re dealing with injuries, Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler are big reasons why the New Orleans Hornets are off to the best start in franchise history.

Both players hope to be back in the lineup on Wednesday night when the Hornets host the Indiana Pacers

Paul, who is averaging a team-leading 19.5 points and 10.8 assists, has missed New Orleans’ last two games, including a 95-88 loss to the Orlando Magic on Monday, because of a sprained right ankle.

The Hornets (9-3) were also forced to play part of Monday’s game without Chandler, who left in the second quarter after hyperextending his right knee. Despite missing both players for much of the game, New Orleans rallied from a 21-point deficit to take a one-point lead in the fourth quarter before fading in the final minutes.

“When you don’t have Chris Paul and you lose a Tyson, that’s a big hurt on your team,” Hornets coach Byron Scott said. “We kept fighting and we had our chances. We just weren’t able to capitalize.”

Peja Stojakovic had 21 points and Jannero Pargo, who has started both nights at the point in place of Paul, had 18 points and seven assists.

Chandler was on crutches after Monday’s game, but X-rays showed no ligament tears or broken bones. However, he admitted he was initially concerned.

“I stepped on something and my whole leg went backwards and then it went numb and I thought: ‘Oh god, I either tore something or I broke something,’” he said.

Chandler, who is averaging 11.3 points and 10.8 rebounds, said he was feeling good and that he was “hoping not to miss anything.”

Chandler and Paul’s possible returns aren’t good news for the already struggling Pacers (4-7), who have lost seven of eight.

After snapping its six-game losing streak Saturday with a 117-97 win over the Utah Jazz, Indiana fell 134-114 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.

“We have to learn from this and keep moving on, and go out and get a win,” said Pacers forward Shawne Williams, who scored a career-high 24 points and is 15-for-22 from the field in his last two games.

Danny Granger added 17 points and six rebounds, but the Pacers allowed the Lakers to shoot 58.3 percent from the field.

“We have to play both ends of the floor,” Jamaal Tinsley said, “which means we have to defend better and we have to shoot better.”

Indiana plays five of its next seven on the road, where it has lost its last three games. However, the road team won both meetings between the Pacers and Hornets last season. In Indiana’s 100-93 road victory on January 6, Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson each scored 27 points.

Both of those players were traded to the Golden State Warriors 11 days later.

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Wednesday, Nov 21