Notebook: Bobcats 90, Pacers 89



Posted Nov 3, 2012 3:14 AM

By Derek S. Smith, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Kemba Walker scored a career-best 30 points as the Charlotte Bobcats snapped a 23-game losing streak with a 90-89 season-opening victory over the Indiana Pacers Friday night at Time Warner Cable Arena. Former Bobcats guard D.J. Augustin missed a three from the corner as time expired that would have won the game. Lance Stephenson and Tyler Hansbrough led Indiana with 15 points each.

QUOTABLE: "I knew that better days were ahead for (Kemba Walker). We opened the game up for him a little bit. We gave him some pick and rolls and then trusted him. That came out tonight for him and we want more of that from him."

-- Charlotte head coach Mike Dunlap.

THE STAT: Free throws. The Bobcats were on fire from the free throw line. Charlotte made 21 of its 24 attempts for an 87.5 percent clip while Indiana was sent to the line 27 times and made just 16 of their attempts (59.3 percent). The Bobcats were perfect from the line in the fourth quarter with the Pacers only making half their attempts in the final 12 minutes.

TURNING POINT: Late miscues. David West stepped out of bounds with a chance to put the Pacers ahead with 1:27 to play. After a missed shot by the Bobcats, George Hill was then whistled for an offensive foul. Indiana closed the game with turnovers on three of its last four possessions while holding Charlotte scoreless for the final two minutes of play.

QUOTABLE II: "The most important thing was to kill the elephant. And the elephant was that losing streak and to get that off of everyone's back from this entire organization to this city. It was a mark that we wanted to clean off the board."

-- Dunlap

HOT: Walker. The Charlotte point guard stepped his game up in the season opener. Walker finished with a career-best 30 points on 10-for-21 shooting. He added five rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot. He was 9-for-10 from the free throw line and connected on his lone three in the game. Walker was limited to just two points in the fourth quarter, but did dish out three assists while committing just one turnover.

INSIDE THE ARENA: The German Single Wheel from Cirque du Soleil was the halftime performer. Charlotte native and wrestling great Ric Flair was courtside at the game. Duke guard Seth Curry was in attendance. Curry, a Charlotte native, is the son of Bobcats TV analyst and former NBA player Dell Curry and was a teammate of Indiana's Miles Plumlee.

GOOD MOVE: The Bobcats used pressure defense, full court pressure and their zone to take the Pacers out their comfort zone offensively. Pacers shots just 39.8 percent and committed 19 turnovers.

ROOKIE WATCH: Four of the five rookies were a DNP -- Coach's decision Friday night. The only rookie to see action was Charlotte's first round pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The Bobcats forward started the game and scored his first NBA points at the 10:35 mark of the first quarter. They would prove to be his only points on the night. He saw 20 minutes of action and grabbed seven rebounds and an assist and a block.

NOTABLE: Indiana's Sam Young saw only 20 seconds of action Friday. He left the game with a bruised right should and did not return. Hansbrough averaged 16.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in three matchups against Charlotte last season and 15 and 6 tonight. Hansbrough and his brother Ben are the third set of brothers to play for the Pacers. But this is the first time brothers have played for the Pacers simultaneously. Pacers forwards Paul George and David West each scored in double figures for the second time this season. The last win before tonight for the Bobcats came 230 days ago on March 17 with a 107-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Charlotte has now won six of their nine home openers in franchise history and is 3-6 in season openers. Charlotte's big offseason signing was Ben Gordon. The guard came off the bench to score 10 points in 22 minutes of action. The Bobcats other free agent guard, Ramon Sessions, scored seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter. Charlotte guard Gerald Henderson had a career-best five steals to go along with his 18 points.

UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Saturday vs. Sacramento, Monday at San Antonio, and Wednesday at Atlanta. For the Bobcats, Saturday at Dallas, Wednesday vs. Phoenix, Friday at New Orleans.