Hornets Hold Off Pacers After Record Start
Walker, Batum Combine for 72 Points in Victory Over Pacers
By Sam Perley, hornets.com
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An unbelievable start to the night set the tone for the hometown Hornets as they held on for a thrilling 133-126 win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday, Feb. 2 in Charlotte. Kemba Walker led the way once again with a game-high 41 points as the hosts erupted for 49 points in the opening 12 minutes, establishing a new franchise best for any quarter of play.
The Pacers hung around until midway through the fourth quarter before Nicolas Batum drained a pair of three-pointers over a minute-long span to put the Hornets up 126-114 with 2:10 left in the game. Indiana managed to cut the deficit down to four points with 40.9 seconds left, but Treveon Graham and Kemba Walker combined to hit 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Kemba Walker gear here)
Kemba Walker exploded for game-high totals in scoring (41 points on 11-of-22 shooting) and assists (9) to go along with three rebounds in the victory. Following his 38-point outing in Atlanta two nights ago, Walker has now scored 35-or-more points in consecutive games for the first time in his seven-year NBA career.
Pacers Player of the Game
Victor Oladipo led Indiana with a team-high 35 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in the loss. This is Oladipo’s eighth game of the year with 30-or-more points, one shy of matching the total from his first four NBA seasons combined.
Nicolas Batum finished with season-high marks in scoring (31 points) and three-point field goals (7-of-11) in addition to nine rebounds and two assists… Dwight Howard tallied 12 points and a game-high-tying 11 rebounds for his 33rd double-double of the season… Frank Kaminsky added 15 points, six rebounds and a season-high five assists in his second-straight start for Marvin Williams (ankle)… Jeremy Lamb tossed in 14 points, three rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes off the bench… Cody Zeller chipped in five points and three rebounds over 16 minutes in his first appearance following a 21-game absence (knee surgery)…The Hornets are the first team since the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 25, 1990 to score 49+ first-quarter points and just the eighth team to do so in NBA history… Charlotte won the rebounding battle, 43-31… The Hornets also knocked down 15-of-33 three-point attempts (45.5 percent) and 44-of-83 shots from the field overall (53.0 percent).
Quote of the Night
“Offensively, we are playing great. We were moving the basketball and making the extra pass and knocking it down when we needed to. Defensively, I think we can be a lot better, but I think we have been doing a great job, especially when we really need it. We are getting some big-time stops.” – Hornets point guard Kemba Walker