Hornets-Pacers Preview

The Associated Press

Little was going right for the New Orleans Hornets even before Anthony Davis was forced to sit out another game.

The No. 1 overall pick may be out again Wednesday night when New Orleans visits the Indiana Pacers, who hope to get another solid performance from former Hornet David West.

Davis, who also suffered a concussion earlier this season, missed his third game Tuesday after suffering what the team doctor called a stress reaction in his already sore left ankle. Ryan Anderson started in his place and scored a team-high 15 points, but New Orleans (3-6) fell 102-80 to New York for its fourth straight loss.

The Hornets did not rule out Davis for Wednesday's contest, though he'll likely be a game-time decision.

Rookie Austin Rivers scored a season-high 14 points for New Orleans, which trailed by as many as 26.

"I think there has been a lesson from the last four games," said Robin Lopez, who had 11 points. "We just have to go out there and make our presence felt."

New Orleans may have trouble doing that against an Indiana defense that ranks second in the NBA allowing an average of 90.1 points, especially if Davis can't go.

The Hornets are averaging 77.0 points without Davis compared to 99.0 in the six games with him in the lineup, and this contest kicks off a four-game road trip.

"I think it's very important for us to get out on a good start," center Jason Smith said. "We have to stop the losing and get our minds right."

The Pacers have had their share of struggles playing without Danny Granger, but West scored a season-high 30 points on 10 of 14 from the field and hit all 10 of his free throws in Mondays 96-89 win over Washington.

West, who averaged 16.4 points in eight seasons with the Hornets before signing with Indiana prior to last season, had totaled 29 points in his previous two games combined.

"He's a guy we go to when we've got to get a bucket late in the game," coach Frank Vogel said. "He's done so much for us. He delivered."

The Pacers (5-7) are one of the league's lowest scoring teams averaging 88.8 points, and the struggles of Roy Hibbert haven't helped. Vogel called Hibbert before Monday's game and offered words of encouragement.

The 7-foot-2 center responded by scoring a season-high 20 points and tying his season best with 12 rebounds.

''He's always been supportive, and I appreciated the call,'' Hibbert said.

"I've just got to strive for consistency, that's the biggest thing. I had a good game but I've got to string a couple of those together. It's nothing to get too excited about or too high on myself or my game."

Despite West and Hibbert playing well, Indiana had trouble holding a 20-point lead and committed 21 turnovers against the league's only winless team.

"I knew our guys have good poise, the guys we had on the floor were veterans," Vogel said. "I trusted that they'd be able to get stops and score down the stretch."

Hibbert finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds in a 117-108 overtime win over the Hornets on Feb. 21 before West had 14 points and 13 boards in a 102-84 victory March 3 to sweep the 2011-12 season series.

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