Rewind: Pacers vs. Bobcats 120107
Jan. 7, 2012 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 99, Bobcats 77
By Conrad Brunner
Tired, testy and eventually a little gimpy, the Pacers avoided a number of potential traps and took care of business in a workmanlike 99-77 victory over Charlotte Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Playing the first game after a four-game road trip, the second night of a back-to-back and against an opponent it would be possible to take lightly, the Pacers dominated the second half, survived ankle sprains to Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert and put the defensive clamps on the struggling Bobcats.
Hibbert scored a season-high 20 points as Indiana (6-2) improved to 3-0 at home and won its seventh in a row over Charlotte, sixth straight at home. The Bobcats dropped to 2-6.
BY THE NUMBERS
Hibbert shot 10-of-16 from the floor, adding eight rebounds and three blocks. Tyler Hansbrough scored 15 off the bench, Darren Collison 14 with eight rebounds and four assists, Danny Granger and George Hill 13 apiece and David West 10 for the Pacers, who shot .506.
D.J. Augustin scored 20 with seven rebounds and four assists for the Bobcats. Gerald Henderson had 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Tyrus Thomas and Byron Mullens scored 10 apiece for the Bobcats, who shot .326.
"Slow start, strong finish. Our second unit was great again. David West got us going with strong play in the post and the third quarter and Roy Hibbert was terrific." - Pacers Coach Frank Vogel
"We didn’t come out with enough fire and energy tonight. It got us in a hole. Our bench came in and gave us a big lift. They brought energy and helped us get our feet down. We have smart guys that know how to play this game and will continue to improve. And we will get better and better as we perform together. This is a good start." - West
"We came in sluggish. Didn’t do what we were supposed to do but then we picked up the effort, began to fight with team relentlessness and helped us to this win. We talked about what we were not doing in the first half. So we had to get after loose balls and tighten the defense up. We know what we can do if we play four quarters. And that’s what we have to do now." - Hansbrough
"We have to work on takeaways and play with a chip on our shoulder for the whole game. We shot the ball better and some of them just dropped for us. We knew they would. I play hard and will continue to play hard and try to fit in with my teammates." - Hill
"We did not play tough. They banged us up and we didn’t respond. We played hard in the first half and I’m not sure what happened in the second." - Bobcats Coach Paul Silas
STAT OF THE GAME
Charlotte led 49-43 at halftime but the Pacers held the Bobcats to 28 points on .217 shooting in the second. This comes on the heels of limiting Boston to a franchise record-tying low of 25 points and .265 shooting in the first half Friday night.
The Pacers seized control in the third quarter, opening the half with a 15-2 run to take a 58-51 lead. The defense limited Charlotte to 5-of-25 shooting in the period and forced four turnovers as the Pacers took a 71-63 lead into the final period, then scored the first six points as things got a bit testy to take a 77-63 lead.
Henderson was hit with a technical for knocking Hill to the floor as the two were untangling after diving for a loose ball, and tempers flared. Dahntay Jones picked up a technical a few minutes later for kicking Tyrus Thomas on his way to the floor after missing a 3-pointer.
Through it all, the Pacers just kept pulling away.
Charlotte took and held the initiative throughout the first half, beating the Pacers at their own game. The Bobcats owned the interior, outrebounding the Pacers 24-13, outscoring them 26-14 in the paint and 12-4 on second-chance points. Charlotte's 6-foot point guard, Augustin, had six rebounds, more than the Pacers' front line combined (Granger, West and Hibbert had five between them). He also had 11 points, as did Henderson.
The Pacers trailed by eight after one quarter but Hill and Hansbrough fueled a 10-4 surge early in the second quarter, cutting the lead to 34-32. But as the starters returned the Bobcats regained control of the tempo and led 49-43 at the break.
The Pacers are 3-0 at home for the first time since 2002. … Hibbert rolled his right ankle after scoring in the post against Mullens with 2:33 left in the third quarter. After heading to the locker room to have it re-taped, he returned in the fourth. … Hill had ice on his back after the game, the result of his tangle with Henderson. … Granger rolled his left ankle on a drive to the hoop midway through the first quarter but remained in the game. … Hoping to match up better with Indiana's length up front, Silas changed the lineup, giving DeSagana Diop his first start of the season at center. Former I.U. standout D.J. White had started the first seven games and averaged 11.3 points and 6.4 rebounds. Tyrus Thomas stepped in at small forward in place of Derek Brown. Thomas missed the first six games with a sprained left ankle but returned for Friday's overtime loss against Atlanta. … Lance Stephenson (sprained left ankle) missed his second game in a row but Vogel made it clear, regardless of how A.J. Price plays filling in as the backup point guard, Stephenson will regain the role when healthy.
The Pacers hit the road to face the Atlantic Division leading 76ers Monday in Philadelphia (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). The teams split last season's four-game series and the Pacers have a 27-48 record in Philadelphia.