Saturday, January 12th at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: IND 96, CHA 88
by Scott Agness | January 12, 2013 | Updated 10:45 PM
The flu that has swept the country has affected the streaking Pacers, but it can’t hold them down. With their leading scorer Paul George home with the flu (and a couple of others not at 100 percent), it was going to take a combined team effort to beat a struggling, yet dangerous Charlotte Bobcats (9-27) ball club. David West did his best George do-it-all performance and recorded his first career triple-double as the Pacers (23-14) earned their fourth-straight win, defeating the Bobcats 96-88.
After topping Eastern Conference heavyweights Miami and New York earlier this week, Saturday night was a trap-game, according to Pacers General Manager Kevin Pritchard, but they didn’t fall for it. Their start may have been indicative of the wild week they just had as they missed their first eleven shots – eight coming less than five feet from the basket – and quickly fell behind 10-1. It wasn’t like they were settling or taking bad shots; they just weren’t dropping.
The Pacers got rolling in the second stanza, connecting on their first four shots – all from behind the arc. Their flurry of triples, which was surprising because they have the fifth-worst 3-point shooting percentage in the league, put them up as many as eight. The Pacers only made one field goal inside the arc in the second period. Charlotte scored nine straight to end the half and took the lead, 45-43.
Team leader David West headed the Pacers' charge in the second half. In the third quarter alone, he had 10 points (on five-of-six shooting) and five rebounds to help put the team ahead for good. The Bobcats went on a dry spell in the middle of the quarter, failing to hit a field goal in almost six minutes. During that stretch, the Pacers went on a 13-0 run, which put them up eight.
In the final quarter, each time the Bobcats tried to take back the lead, the Pacers had an answer. Indiana's guard play was crucial, accounting for 22 of the Pacers’ 27 points in the quarter – and zero turnovers. The Pacers demonstrated, once again, that they had learned and grown from their mistakes at the beginning of the season where close games were won by the opponent.
The Pacers, flu-stricken and all, handled the Bobcats, 96-88, for their 10th straight win at home. They’ll now look to improve their road record away from Indy for seven out of their next eight.
Inside the Numbers
George Hill and D.J. Augustin combined for 37 points, eight assists and just one turnover in 71 minutes.
Lance Stephenson finished with a season-high 17 points and seven rebounds. Ian Mahinmi scored five points, grabbed eight rebounds and tied his career-high with a season’s best three blocks.
Ben Gordon led the Bobcats with 21 points. Kemba Walker had 16 and Hakim Warrick contributed 12 points and seven rebounds.
Not only have the Pacers won 10 in a row at home, they have held 12-straight home opponents to 92 points or less, a new franchise record.
“A number of guys stepped up in the absence of Paul George, in particular, obviously David West with a triple-double. You can really go down the list. D.J. Augustin coming in, playing big minutes and hitting some big 3’s against his old team. George Hill stepped up; Lance (Stephenson) had a solid game.” – Frank Vogel
"We’re built for the long stretch and we’ve got multiple guys on this team that are capable of having big nights.” – David West on the team win
“He’s a different player in my mind. I have such a high trust level with him right now, with the way he’s playing. He’s playing really tough on the defensive end and he’s shooting the ball without hesitation.” – Frank Vogel on Augustin’s recent improvement
“I’m feeling more comfortable the more I play and it feels good to be out there that amount of minutes…We knew we had to get this win to get the Central Division lead so we just wanted to get the win and we did it…” – D.J. Augustin on his play and avenging the Pacers' earlier loss to Charlotte
“Nothing really, it’s just part of the game. Everything was within the flow of the game.” – David West on his triple-double
“Every road ain’t got a smooth pavement. You’re going to have bumps in the road and craters. We took the dents early, blew a couple flat tires, but they filled the pot holes and we’re playing good basketball right now. I'd rather take the losses early, start to learn and turn them into a positive late in the season.” – George Hill on where the Pacers are now
Stat of the Game
David West recorded his first career triple-double: 14 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists. It’s the Pacers’ second triple-double this season. Roy Hibbert had the first (the first of his career) on Nov. 21 vs. New Orleans.
- The Pacers have won 10 of their last 11 meetings vs. the Bobcats, including seven straight at home.
- Paul George (flu) wasn’t at the arena, missing his first game in two years.
- Dominic McGuire, with the team on a 10-day contract, made his Pacers debut.
- Lance Stephenson was called for a technical foul in the second quarter.
- Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson sat court-side.
The Pacers play seven of their next eight away from Indy, beginning Sunday against the new-look Brooklyn Nets at 6 PM EST.