Pacers vs Hornets

Hornets vs. Pacers

Rodney Stuckey scores 15 points, C.J. Watson adds 13 as the Pacers rout the Hornets 93-74.

Postgame 150403

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Hornets vs. Pacers

Rodney Stuckey scores 15 points, C.J. Watson adds 13 as the Pacers rout the Hornets 93-74.
Apr 3, 2015  |  00:00

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room 150403

April 3, 2015: Indiana Pacers players Damo Rudez, Solomon Hill and C.J. Miles discuss their 93-74 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
Apr 3, 2015  |  01:52

Postgame: Vogel Press Conference 150403

Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel meets the media after the team's 93-74 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.
Apr 3, 2015  |  04:30

Hammer By Hibbert

Roy Hibbert gets the feed inside and rams it down with force.
Apr 3, 2015  |  00:00

Pacers Honor NCAA Greats

April 3, 2015 - The Indiana Pacers honored the NCAA Greats during a timeout at the Pacers vs Hornets game on Friday.
Apr 3, 2015  |  01:15

Chuck Person at Pacers vs Hornets Game

April 3, 2015 - Former Pacers player Chuck Person returns to Indianapolis as an assistant coach at Auburn University. Person talks with Larra Overton about his career in Indy and meeting up with his Pacers teammate Reggie Miller.
Apr 3, 2015  |  01:25

Ron Hunter At Pacers Game

April 3, 2015 - Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter talks with Larra Overton about his recent injury and being back in Indianapolis.
Apr 3, 2015  |  02:22

Game Rewind: Pacers 93, Hornets 74

Friday, April 3, 2015 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss






Game Recap

It's moving time. In 11th place in the Eastern Conference heading into Friday night, the Pacers knew they needed to reel off wins in most — if not all — of their final seven games to make the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.

Indiana (33-43) more than took care of business on Friday, cruising past the undermanned Charlotte Hornets (32-43) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 93-74. With the win, the Pacers moved past the Hornets and back into 10th place in the East.

RELATED: Playoff Picture (Latest Standings and More) »

Already without starting forwards Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller, the Hornets lost the third member of their frontcourt early into Friday's contest. Center Al Jefferson, the team's second-leading scorer, scored just four points in 11:40 in the first half, and didn't return in the second due to soreness in his knee.

The Pacers took full advantage, dominating the game defensively over the final three quarters en route to a convincing victory.

Indiana didn't get off to the best start, falling behind by as many as nine points in the opening quarter. But Rodney Stuckey and the second unit got Indiana off on the right foot in the second quarter and the Blue & Gold outscored Charlotte in the period, 27-13.

"The energy of the bench, they just outplayed Charlotte’s bench," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said after the win.

The Pacers then held Charlotte to just nine points in the third quarter as the Hornets made just 2-of-21 shots and missed their final 15 attempts in the period. Indiana was on cruise control in the fourth quarter, leading by more than 20 points until the final minute of the game.

The Hornets' 74 points tied for the fewest by a Pacers opponent all season. Charlotte shot just 35 percent from the field and made only 4-of-18 attempts from 3-point range.

"We just kept staying with it," Pacers forward Solomon Hill said. "…Defense is always a point of emphasis here. We really don’t talk about offense much but defense is our calling card."

Stuckey, playing despite a sore shooting wrist, scored 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Starting shooting guard C.J. Miles, himself hampered by a sprained right ankle, contributed 12 points and six rebounds. Backup point guard C.J. Watson added 13 points off the bench.

Gerald Henderson led Charlotte with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Marvin Williams added 10 points, eight boards, and four assists. Jefferson's absence loomed large, as the Hornets had no real post presence after halftime.

"We have played without Al before, we’ve got other guys that have stepped up and played well when he’s been out," Henderson said. "We didn’t adjust to it too well tonight, though."

The Pacers return to the court on Sunday, when they'll host the Miami Heat in another pivotal game. Tip off is scheduled for 6:00 PM ET.

"When you put one game to bed, you move on to the next one," Vogel said. "Every game matters."

Inside the Numbers

Frank Vogel picked up his 200th career victory on Friday. Vogel passed Larry Brown earlier this season for most coaching wins in NBA franchise history.

Point guard George Hill, who had scored in double figures in 14 straight games, finished with just four points on 2-of-11 shooting. Still, Hill found a way to contribute, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out 10 assists. It was the Hometown Hero's second game this season and sixth in his career with 10 or more assists.

Charlotte's nine points in the third quarter were the fewest the Pacers have allowed in any quarter all season.

The Blue & Gold outrebounded Charlotte, 55-42. It was the most rebounds the Pacers collected in a regulation game this season. Luis Scola led the way with 11 boards.

Former Pacers guard Lance Stephenson had fallen out of the rotation in recent days in Charlotte, but he checked into the game late in the third quarter with his team trailing by 23. Stephenson played 14:18, finishing with 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting.

You Can Quote Me On That

"We just worked at it. Maybe it was a better matchup against these guys and we were hungry for a win. We had a confidence playing at home, understanding the ramifications and the mindset of staying in the fight." -Vogel on his team's defensive effort

"We’re trying to get back to keeping opponents under 40 percent. That was kind of our philosophy in that last month or two. That is something we definitely have to get back to if we want to be successful. That was one of the points of emphasis, just staying together on defense, communicating, just using our speed and length, just trying to be solid on defense. After that, (it was) just move the ball on offense and everything would fall in place." -Pacers forward Damjan Rudež

"We wanted to come out with a sense of urgency and get a good start in the first quarter, get ourselves a rhythm offensively and defensively and try to give ourselves a chance to really be able to make a big push." -C.J. Miles

"Offensive rebounds, they crushed us in the second quarter. I think they scored seven second chance points in five possessions and that’s when they pulled ahead." -Hornets head coach Steve Clifford

"They’re like family, like brothers. They just told me to hold my head, keep working hard, keep focused, they’ve always been there to encourage me." -Stephenson on what his former Pacers teammates told him after the game

Stat of the Game

The Pacers outscored the Hornets 48-22 over the second and third quarters on Friday night.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have now won 12 consecutive home games against Charlotte. The Hornets haven't won in Indianapolis since Nov. 28, 2008.
  • Indiana is now 15-7 on the year when holding their opponents under 40 percent shooting. They are 14-6 when holding opponents under 90 points.
  • The Pacers lead the overall series with Charlotte 60-36 and are 39-10 all-time at home against the Bobcats/Hornets franchise.

Up Next

The Miami Heat visit Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Sunday at 6:00 PM. Find Tickets »

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