Hornets’ Road Winning Streak Ends in Indiana
Bridges Finishes With 17 PTS; Charlotte Completely Overmatched by Pacers
The Charlotte Hornets were unable to extend their three-game road winning streak after falling behind big and early to the Indiana Pacers, leading to a 119-80 loss on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Miles Bridges led the visitors with a team-high 17 points on 7-of-16 shooting, six rebounds and a steal in 26 minutes of action in the loss. The Michigan State product has continued to play well over the last month, having now scored at least 15 points in 10 of his past 11 appearances.
Indiana connected on 13-of-19 first-quarter shots (68.4%), which included a 5-of-7 mark from three, helping set the stage for a 35-25 lead after the opening 12 minutes. A 16-2 Pacers run to open the second helped balloon the Hornets’ deficit to 69-44 by halftime and following the break, things really only got worse the rest of the way.
“Our last game, we lost by 29 points. I didn’t like our response, didn’t like our urgency,” said Coach Borrego afterwards. “It was a very disappointing and unprofessional approach to tonight’s game.”
Rookie Caleb Martin notched a new career high with 11 points, three rebounds and two assists. PJ Washington, Cody Zeller and Cody Martin each added another nine points and Terry Rozier chipped in five points and a team-high seven assists. Of note, Devonte’ Graham was dressed and available, but did not play.
“[The Martins] play extremely hard. Jalen [McDaniels] played hard,” added Borrego. “I thought our young guys, including Joe Chealey, gave some great energy off the bench. I was proud of their effort.”
All-Star Domantas Sabonis tallied game highs in points (21), rebounds (15) and assists (9) for Indiana, narrowly missing his fifth career triple-double. TJ Warren added 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting, while Justin Holiday (16), Malcolm Brogdon (15), Doug McDermott (10) and JaKarr Sampson (10) scored in double figures as well. Myles Turner also added six points, 10 rebounds and a career-high eight blocks.
Charlotte finished the night shooting just 33.0% from the field and the 80-point scoring output marked a new season low (previous: 83, done twice). Indiana dominated on the boards, 57-39 and shot 57.0% and 43.5% from three-point range (10-of-23).
Charlotte will close out its back-to-back set tomorrow night, Wednesday, Feb. 25, against the New York Knicks starting at 7 PM EST at Spectrum Center. Watch the game on Fox Sports Southeast or listen in on WFNZ 610 AM/102.5 FM or the Hornets app.