Late 20-5 Pacers Run Costs Hornets in Indiana
Walker (23), Batum (22) and Howard (22) Combine for 67 Points in Defeat
By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com
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In a contest featuring 18 lead changes and 16 ties, it was the Pacers final push at home that turned the tide and sent the Hornets to their second-straight loss in their three-game road trip, 105-96, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Kemba Walker scored a team-high 23 points and Nic Batum and Dwight Howard added 22 apiece but no other Charlotte player scored in double digits on the way to the loss.
When Jeremy Lamb connected on a driving layup with 9:32 left in the game, the Hornets had to be hoping the the 17th lead change would be the last as they took an 84-83 lead. What they didn’t anticipate was that Domantas Sabonis’ layup 14 seconds later would be the last lead change as Indiana rattled off a 20-5 run to put the game away in the fourth quarter. In the course of that run, the Hornets managed to hit just 2-of-8 shots (25.0 percent) from the field while turning the ball over four times in a span of 6:47 as the Pacers built their largest lead of the game, 103-89, with 2:45 remaining. Indiana turned the tide by connecting on 9-of-15 shots from the field (60.0 percent) led by eight points from Sabonis on the way to the victory.
Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Nic Batum gear here)
Nic Batum was one point away from tying the Hornets team high, finishing with 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field, including 5-of-10 from long range. His five three-pointers tied a season high. Batum also grabbed four rebounds, handed out two assists and blocked one shot in 35 minutes of action.
Pacers Player of the Game
Victor Oladipo continued his breakout season and tallied a game-high 25 points on an extremely efficient 11-of-15 shooting (73.3 percent) from the field. He also grabbed five rebounds, dished out three assists, swiped a steal and blocked a shot in the victory.
Kemba Walker scored a game-high 23 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from long range and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. Walker also had a team-high four assists to go with three rebounds and a steal… Dwight Howard tallied his ninth-straight double-double and 31st of the season with 22 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Howard also handed out two assists and blocked one shot… Walker, Howard and Batum scored 67 of the Hornets 96 points and combined to shoot 51.1 percent (24-of-47) from the field. The rest of the team shot just 36.1 percent from the field… The Hornets fell for the second consecutive game on the road after winning six of their previous eight road contests… The Pacers are now 18-0 this season when they shoot over 50 percent from the field… Indiana has now won three-straight home games over Charlotte in the series.
Quote of the Night
“The intensity in the fourth quarter picked up and we struggled offensively, which has been an issue. Turner and Oladipo were very good. We tried to change up some coverages there and we just couldn’t get to them. ” – Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford