Notebook: Pacers 81, Hornets 75



Posted Dec 22, 2012 11:31 PM

By Scott Kushner, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: David West scored 20 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, propelling the Indiana Pacers as they overcame a 22-point deficit en route to an 81-75 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday night at the New Orleans Arena.

After a sluggish first half, West converted all four of his fourth-quarter shots, including a pair of fade-away jumpers over the outstretched arms of Hornets forward Anthony Davis in the final two minutes to seal the win -- Indiana's sixth victory in its past seven games.

Meanwhile, the Hornets were saddled with their 11th consecutive loss, extending the longest drought in the Western Conference.

QUOTABLE: "He's got big guts. He's got really big guts. He's capable of carrying the team singlehandedly. He did that tonight."
-- Pacers coach Frank Vogel on West's performance in the fourth quarter.

THE STAT: After holding a 46-29 lead at halftime thanks to 50 percent shooting, the Hornets were held to just seven points in the third quarter, its lowest scoring quarter of the season. New Orleans made just 17.6 percent of its shots during the period and committed six turnovers, as Indiana squeezed the life out of New Orleans' offensive rhythm.

TURNING POINT: With New Orleans leading 59-57 midway through the fourth quarter, Hornets guard Austin Rivers perfectly timed his defensive break, slicing to the top of the key to deflect a pass. However, before it could cross midcourt, the ball bounced into the hands of Pacers forward Paul George, who found George Hill in the corner for a wide-open three-pointer. It turned a potential Hornets' breakaway into Indiana's first lead of the game.

QUOTABLE II: "We trust and believe in our defense and I thought our defense and I thought our defense was solid enough, and is solid enough every night, to give us a shot. We just maintained that throughout the third quarter and into the fourth."
-- David West

HOT: In the first five minutes of the second quarter, Hornets center Robin Lopez took control of the game on both sides of the court, scoring seven points, blocking two shots, and nabbing a steal which led to a breakaway dunk and three-point play. Lopez's outburst help push the Hornets on a 22-9 run to start the quarter, extending its advantage to 22 points. Lopez finished with 11 rebounds, six blocks and a season-high 24 points, leading the Hornets throughout the night.

NOT: Indiana scored just 29 points in the first half, its lowest scoring half of the season. It was also the lowest scoring output against the Hornets in any half this season. The Pacers' previous low was a 30-point effort in an 88-76 loss to the Knicks, while New Orleans' best defensive effort was holding Milwaukee to 31 second-half points in a 102-81 win on Dec. 3 -- the Hornets' most recent victory. Post players Roy Hibbert and West converted just 3-for-15 field goals as the Pacers shot just 31.6 percent in the half.

NOTABLE: West scored 12 points in the third quarter, making 5-for-7 attempts...Pacers guard Lance Stephenson failed to reach the rim on perimeter shots in back-to-back possessions in the second quarter...The Pacers made just 11-for-18 free throws (61.1 percent)...New Orleans shot just seven free throws all game...Al-Farouq Aminu didn't enter the game, the third straight the former starting forward has sat. His abscense was listed as a "Coach's Decision".

UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Wednesday @ Orlando, Friday vs. Toronto, Saturday @ Charlotte. For the Pacers, Wednesday vs. Chicago, Friday vs. Phoenix, Saturday @ Atlanta.