Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 7:00 PM ET at Time Warner Cable Arena
Game Rewind: Pacers 99, Bobcats 74
Scott Agness | November 27, 2013
Before sitting down at the dinner table with their families, counting their blessings and enjoying a Thanksgiving meal, the Pacers took on the Bobcats Wednesday night in Charlotte, where points were hard to come by...until the fourth quarter.
Shooting 28 percent through three quarters and only ahead by eight, the Pacers needed a spark and production from somewhere. Reserve point guard C.J. Watson entered the night averaging 5.5 points per game, but he exploded for 15 points in the fourth quarter as the Pacers (14-1) blew away the Bobcats (7-9), 99-74.
Minutes into the game, it was clear that it wouldn’t be an offensive showcase. That wasn’t shocking by any means, as the Pacers have the top defense in the league and the Bobcats are third in fewest points allowed. The two teams combined to shoot 2-for-12 early on. The Pacers made it a point to send it inside, where Roy Hibbert scored 10 points in the opening frame. As the Bobcats started the game 4-for-22 from the floor, the Pacers got out in front 22-11.
After outscoring the Bobcats in the paint 12-2, the Pacers went away from playing the inside game, had four giveaways and a couple offensive fouls. Bobcats center Al Jefferson didn’t have a point through the first 12 minutes, but he scored 10 in the second. Limited to just 11 points in the first, Charlotte warmed up in the second, shooting 50 percent and scoring 27 points to draw within five at the break.
The third period – which lasted 38 minutes (though it seemed like an eternity) and was the Pacers’ worst quarter of the year in terms of shooting percentage – was forgettable for a number of reasons. The two teams combined to shoot 7-for-41 from the floor. The Pacers maintained an 8-point lead, scoring 11 of their 17 points at the foul line. All this, with Paul George on the bench for 10 minutes because he picked up his third and fourth fouls in the early going.
Indiana is the best fourth-quarter team so far this season, and tonight was no different. Watson buried five shots from deep, including three in a row, to break this one open for good. Donald Sloan and Rasual Butler each added a 3-pointer as well, as the Pacers, who led wire-to-wire, outscored the Bobcats 39-22 in the final 12 minutes to cruise to their second largest win of the year.
Inside the Numbers
C.J. Watson led the Pacers in scoring for the first time, with a season-high 18. It was just his third game this year in double figures and his six 3-pointers (6-for-7) are a new career best.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Lance Stephenson scored 15 points and had 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Roy Hibbert also registered one, 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul George, who was limited due to foul trouble, finished with 15 (and surpassed the 3,000-point mark for his career).
Al Jefferson ended the night with 16 points and nine rebounds, both team highs. Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson were a combined 6-of-32 from the field for 25 points.
Indiana watch: Cody Zeller had seven points on 2-of-7 shooting, along with six rebounds. Josh McRoberts tallied just four points.
The Pacers handled the glass (57 rebounds to 43) and were +14 in fast break points.
Indiana’s bench outscored Charlotte’s 37-24, upping their record to 5-0 when their second unit has the upper hand.
“You have to account for everybody on our team. That’s a valuable commodity to have and a neat identity for us.” – Frank Vogel
"It was a good Indiana style win with offensive balance, a different guy stepping up tonight and then dominating with good defensive rebounding. I am very proud of the overall effort, and C.J. Watson was our star of the game tonight. It seems like there is a different guy every game." - Frank Vogel
“We knew it was going to be a struggle to score. Steve Clifford’s defense is as good as any in the NBA. The Bobcats are really tied together and he is doing a great job." - Vogel on the early shooting woes
“It felt good. I’ve been struggling with my shot a little bit and I just wanted to get comfortable and find my rhythm. I knocked a couple of them down tonight, I kept my confidence and kept shooting.” - C.J. Watson
"That’s how this team is made up. We’ve got so many guys that can put the ball in the hole. It’s all about finding the hot hand and trying to feed it.” - Paul George
Stat of the Game
After going 3-for-16 (18.8 percent) from beyond the arc in the first three quarters, the Pacers were 7-of-9 in the fourth (77.8).
- The Pacers have won four straight over the Bobcats.
- Bobcats coach Steve Clifford received a technical foul in the third quarter.
- Frank Vogel said pregame that they wouldn’t set a timeline for Danny Granger (left calf) to return until he was pain free.
The Pacers host the Washington Wizards at Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 8 PM EST on Black Friday, Nov. 29.