Hornets Regroup for Short-Handed Road Win Over Pacers
Bridges Scores Season-High 23 PTS, Charlotte Gets Back on Track with Victory in Indy
Already without their top bench scorer in Malik Monk, the Charlotte Hornets weathered a mid-game injury to Gordon Hayward to pull away late for a 114-97 road win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Miles Bridges paved the way for the hosts, finishing with a season-high 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting, a team-high 10 rebounds and two steals in 31 minutes off the bench for his eighth double-double of the campaign. Bridges really sparked the team with four three-pointers over the final 3:28 of the second quarter, resulting in a career-high 16 for the frame.
Charlotte led by 11 at the break and then opened things up in the third with a 17-point advantage, before Indiana closed the gap back down to eight heading into the fourth. The Pacers would draw to within six by the midway point of the final quarter, but Charlotte responded with a game-sealing 15-2 run that was highlighted by a Cody Zeller and-1 dunk and a Terry Rozier-to-Bridges alley-oop dunk.
“We haven’t fared well here in Indiana, and our guys stepped up,” said Coach Borrego after the win. “We had a number of guys out, we had starters out, scoring out and this team continues to fight and figure it out. This is probably one of the proudest wins of the season for me. On a back-to-back coming here from Brooklyn all the way out here, they showed their resiliency and reformed themselves today. We got a big-time win.”
Zeller (17 points on 7-of-7 shooting), Rozier (15), PJ Washington (13), Hayward (13), Brad Wanamaker (13) and Devonte’ Graham (12) made it seven total Charlotte players in double figures. Graham also added six assists and a career-high five steals and Hayward, despite the early exit, had eight rebounds and six assists, becoming the third Charlotte player since 1997 to record a 10-5-5 quarterly line, per Basketball Reference (Tony Delk, Kemba Walker)
Caris LeVert scored a team-high 16 points for Indiana, who lost for the first time in five head-to-head meetings at home with Charlotte. Doug McDermott (13 points), TJ McConnell (12), Aaron Holiday (12), Edmond Sumner (10) and Goga Bitadze (10) also crossed the 10-point barrier. Of note, Domantas Sabonis managed just eight points and 10 rebounds before leaving the game in the fourth (ankle) and Malcolm Brogdon was a late game-time scratch (right hip soreness).
Charlotte shot 45% from the field – just 8-of-31 on three-point attempts (26%) – had just 10 turnovers and allowed under 100 points in regulation for the fourth time in seven games. Indiana outscored the Hornets 25-10 on the fast break, although committed 20 giveaways leading to 17 points the other way.
The Hornets will now kick off the second half of their six-game road trip against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, April 4, beginning at 6 PM EST at TD Garden. Watch the action on Bally Sports or listen in on WFNZ 610 AM or 102.5 FM.