In the final Pacers game before the All-Star break, the Pacers fell 117-95 to the Charlotte Hornets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Indiana tried to trigger comebacks at several points throughout the night, but the Hornets were an unrelenting foe, outscoring the Pacers in all but one quarter of the game.
"We got outplayed by a red-hot team playing with great confidence," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said. "Frankly, they aren't a good matchup for us and they played with more energy than us. I didn't like how we played against the Lakers offensively, but we were good defensively. Tonight, we weren't able to get stops and that affected us on the offensive end."
On Wednesday night, the Hornets had it going from beyond the arc, hitting on 12 of their 28 attempts from long range. Conversely, the Pacers struggled to find a groove from deep, hitting just 4-of-18 from 3-point land.
Despite a 5-0 start to the fourth quarter for Indiana, Charlotte righted its ship and extended its lead back to 20 with 7:00 remaining in the contest.
Offensively, Paul George — who received recognition prior to the game for his All-Star nod — was one of the few players that had it going. George tallied 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting and added eight rebounds and six dimes.
For the Hornets, Kemba Walker led the way, scoring a game-high 25 points, and routinely making tough baskets in the painted area over the outstretched arms of the Pacers' bigs.
"They came out with better aggression," Ian Mahinmi said. "They started denying us, taking us out of what we do. They got lots of fast break points. It got them in the game and their shooters found their rhythm."
In the first half, the teams were knotted up at 25 apiece after one quarter of action. But the Pacers fell victim to second-quarter runs of 17-4 and 11-2, putting the Pacers in a 17-point hole entering the second half at The Fieldhouse. Charlotte scorched the nets in the first half, drilling 7-of-17 3-point attempts.
In the third, the Hornets built upon their lead, pushing the advantage to as much as 20 points in the period.
However, once the fourth quarter began, the Pacers went on a 5-0 run in which all of the points were scored by Lavoy Allen.
But as they had all game, the Hornets responded with a deflating run, ultimately sending the Blue & Gold to a loss in their final game before the break.
"It's a chance for us to recharge our batteries. I think everyone will take their time and use it wisely," said Paul George, at his locker surrounded by reporters. "Hopefully everyone is off their feet getting rest but being mindful not to come back out of shape or not at their best."
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers were outrebounded 45-39. They had outrebounded their opponent in four straight contests entering Wednesday night's game.
Indiana's 11 turnovers were its fewest since a January 4 meeting with the Miami Heat.
The Pacers' four 3-pointers made were their fewest since they played the Warriors on January 22.
Monta Ellis was the only Pacers starter to make more than 50 percent of his shots from the field.
You Can Quote Me On That
"It was to get over the .500 mark. This was an important game. We have a long break ahead of us and we didn't want to go into the break with a loss. We came out with a lot of life. From the beginning we gave great effort." -Hornets guard Kemba Walker
"We've just got to get a better focus as a team. We knew what this team likes to do. They spread the floor, they shoot threes, they load the paint defensively. We should have been more dialed in. They were up more for this game than we were. Their energy was way more off the charts than ours. In a game like this on our floor, we've got to handle business, which we failed to do." -Paul George
"Tonight, we weren't able to get stops and that affected us on the offensive end. We've got to figure this out, especially against a team where all five on the floor shoot threes. You've got to win your home games against teams like this (teams in the playoff race) but give them credit, they're playing great right now." -Pacers head coach Frank Vogel
Stat of the Night
The Hornets did nearly all of their damage from right at the rim, and from long range. Charlotte racked up 36 points on 3-pointers and scored 50 points in the paint. Comparitively, the Pacers scored 46 points in the paint, and just 12 from beyond the arc.
- The Hornets had lost their last 12 games to Indiana at The Fieldhouse before Wednesday night
- Myles Turner has scored in double-figures in four straight games
- C.J. Miles is 3-of-16 from long range over his last four games
- The Pacers all-time record versus Charlotte is now 60-37
The Pacers have reached the All-Star Break, and don't play again until a February 19 matchup with the Thunder in Oklahoma City
Home Court Gift Shop Game Night Special
Hoop Set - $10. Game Night Specials can be purchased in the Home Court Gift Shop or any of our souvenir stands located on all levels of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The special is also available online at PacersGear.com until midnight.