Charlotte extended its home winning streak to five games behind 34 points and eight rebounds from Al Jefferson as the Cats topped the Eastern Conference leading Indiana Pacers, 109-87, on March 5 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Kemba Walker chipped in 19 points and nine assists for Charlotte in the victory.
The Cats got off to one of their best starts of the season as they grabbed an early lead and never trailed the rest of the way. Charlotte held the ice-cold Pacers to a season-low eight points in the first quarter and led by 20 at the end of the first frame. Indiana was able to make a surge in the second quarter, getting as close as three, but ultimately trailed 47-38 at half. The Cats came out of the break and regained the success they saw in the first quarter, holding the Pacers to 36.2 percent shooting in the third. Charlotte didn’t ease of the gas pedal and saw its lead reach as many as 23 in the fourth as they cruised to victory.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Cats dominated the Pacers across the stat sheet, which they can credit to their defense. Charlotte held Indiana to just 40.8 percent shooting from the field and 43.5 percent from long range. In contrast, the Cats were able to connect on 51.2 percent of their field goals and 50.0 percent of their three-point attempts. Charlotte is now 9-1 on the season when the team shoots 50 percent or better from the field… Led by Al Jefferson, the Cats flexed their muscle in the paint against the Pacers, outscoring them there, 44-24, recording 13 second-chance points to Indiana’s six and blocking five shots to the Pacers two… The Cats also took advantage of an uncharacteristic 18 Pacers turnovers and converted them in 22 points… Charlotte was also effective in transition and pushed the ball as much as possible, scoring 23 fast break points compared to seven for Indiana.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Al Jefferson stayed hot coming off his 38-point performance on March 3 in Miami. Jefferson’s 34 points marked his 11th 30-point game this season and was his ninth time doing so in his last 16 games.
PACERS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Evan Turner had his best game since joining the Pacers at the trade deadline. He scored 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting and dished out five assists in 31 minutes off the bench for Indiana.
The Cats have now won a season-high, five-straight games at home. Charlotte’s last home winning streak of this length was a seven-game streak from March 5-26, 2010… Charlotte has reached 16 home wins this season, topping last season’s total of 15… The Cats have also improved their win total to 28 games, equaling the amount of wins from the previous two seasons combined… The win also snapped a six-game winning streak for the Pacers over the Cats…Chris Douglas-Roberts got the start for the injured Gerald Henderson and posted double-figure scoring numbers for the sixth time this season (12 points). Henderson is out for at least a week with a calf strain… With 10 points, Gary Neal has now finished in double figures in all four games played in a Bobcat uniform… Cody Zeller scored in double digits (11 points) for the fourth-straight game, grabbed five rebounds and blocked a game-high two shots.
The Cats will welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers to Charlotte for the second time this season on March 7 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Listen live on WFNZ 610 am, the official Bobcats app or on bobcats.com. The game can also be seen on SportSouth and NBA League Pass.