Pacers at Hornets

GAME RECAP: Hornets 133, Pacers 126

Kemba Walker explodes for 41 points with nine assists, Nicolas Batum adds 31 points with nine boards as the Hornets win it, 133-126.

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GAME RECAP: Hornets 133, Pacers 126

Kemba Walker explodes for 41 points with nine assists, Nicolas Batum adds 31 points with nine boards as the Hornets win it, 133-126.
Feb 2, 2018  |  01:56

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Feb. 2, 2018

Feb. 2, 2018 - Pacers acting head coach Dan Burke and players Thaddeus Young and Victor Oladipo react to Indiana's 133-126 loss in Charlotte.
Feb 2, 2018  |  02:04

Oladipo Scores 35 in Charlotte

Feb. 2, 2018 - Pacers All-Star guard scored 20 of his team-high 35 points in the second half and went 11-for-21 from the field for the game in Friday's 133-126 loss the Hornets in Charlotte.
Feb 2, 2018  |  01:55

Joseph With the Steal and Bucket

February 02, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets - Highlights
Feb 2, 2018  |  02:04

Lance Drains The 3

February 02, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets - Highlights
Feb 2, 2018  |  02:00

Turner Ties It Up

February 02, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets - Highlights
Feb 2, 2018  |  01:57

Oladipo Makes It a One Possession Game

February 02, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets - Highlights
Feb 2, 2018  |  01:57

Sabonis Block Leads to Oladipo's Layup

February 02, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets - Highlights
Feb 2, 2018  |  01:55

Stephenson Drains the 3-Pointer

February 02, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets - Highlights
Feb 2, 2018  |  01:52

Turner With the Putback Jam Plus the Foul

February 02, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets - Highlights
Feb 2, 2018  |  02:04

Turner Takes It Strong

February 02, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets - Highlights
Feb 2, 2018  |  02:00

Game Rewind: Pacers 126, Hornets 133

Friday, February 2, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET at the Spectrum Center
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Game Recap

A disastrous start doomed the Pacers on Friday night in Charlotte. Indiana surrendered 49 points to the Hornets in the first quarter in a 133-126 loss that snapped a three-game win streak.

The Pacers (29-24) trailed by as many as 18 points in the first half, rallied to tie the game at midway through the third quarter, but never regained the lead.

Pacers All-Star guard Victor Oladipo was brilliant in the loss, scoring 35 points on 11-of-21 shooting (3-of-4 from the 3-point line) and also went 10-for-11 from the free throw line.

But it wasn't enough to overcome Charlotte's dynamic duo of point guard Kemba Walker and swingman Nicolas Batum. Walker led all scorers with 41 points and dished out nine assists, while Batum made 7-of-11 3-pointers on his way to 31 points and nine rebounds as the Hornets (22-29) avenged a 105-96 loss to the Pacers on Monday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Oladipo and Walker had a particularly memorable second-half duel. Oladipo scored 20 points over the final two quarters, while Walker racked up 28 after halftime.

The loss spoiled the unofficial head coaching debut for long-time Pacers assistant Dan Burke, who assumed head coaching duties on Friday in place of Nate McMillan, who did not travel with the team in Charlotte for personal reasons. McMillan will rejoin the team in Indianapolis and be back on the sidelines for Saturday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Hornets were on fire to start Friday's contest. Batum got it going first, reeling off 11 straight points for the hosts, sinking 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions. Walker and Frank Kaminsky then added triples of their own and Dwight Howard caught an alley oop as Charlotte used an 11-0 run to race out to a 21-6 lead.

The Pacers eventually got their own offense rolling. Indiana scored 37 points in the opening quarter, with Oladipo leading the way with 11 points in the opening frame.

Unfortunately, the Hornets never cooled off. Charlotte scorched the nets throughout the first quarter, going 19-for-23 from the field (82.6 percent) and making 7-of-11 3-pointers en route to an eye-popping 49 points — the most points ever allowed by the Pacers in a single quarter in NBA franchise history.

"They hit every shot," Burke said. "I think we allowed them to get a rhythm. We didn't do anything to break their rhythm. The only positive was we kept scoring.

"Batum's threes...and then Walker got going and then Howard got going on the inside. I just didn't think we had any zip in our step."

The Hornets extended their lead to as many as 18 points in the second quarter and took a 71-57 advantage into halftime.

The Pacers used the break to regroup and came out with much better energy on the defensive end in the third quarter. Indiana opened the half with a 12-5 run to trim its deficit to seven points. A 10-2 run later in the period — capped by Myles Turner's 3-pointer — tied the game at 82 with 4:43 remaining in the third quarter.

40 seconds laters, Batum buried another three to put Charlotte back in front. Walker then took over, scoring the Hornets' next 11 points to keep the Pacers at bay and help the hosts take a 96-91 lead into the final period.

The Hornets opened the fourth quarter with a 12-6 run to push the margin back to double digits. The Pacers chipped away at the lead, getting within four points on Oladipo's 3-pointer with 6:11 to play, but the Hornets answered with a 12-4 run to put the game on ice.

"That happens when you have to fight so hard," Burke said. "You fight so hard to come back and now your legs aren't there. We have to figure out how we get better starts, quit digging the holes we're digging.

"But I love the way they always stick together. The collective spirit in that locker room, the commitment to each other, it shows most of these nights."

Turner recorded his second straight double-double in the loss, finishing with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks. Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points for Indiana, while Lance Stephenson chipped in 15 off the bench.

Cory Joseph (12 points) and Darren Collison (10 points) also scored in double figures.

Kaminsky added 15 points, six rebounds, and five assists for Charlotte. Jeremy Lamb scored 14 points off the bench and Howard registered a double-double of his own, finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Pacers return to action on Saturday night, when they host Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers at 7:00 PM ET.

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers shot 50.6 percent from the field in the loss, the first time this season they have lost when shooting 50 percent or better. They entered Friday's game 19-0 when making at least half of their shots.

Turner had not recorded a double-double since Nov. 29 prior to Wednesday, but now has accomplished the feat in each of the past two games.

Oladipo had two steals on Friday and now has recorded a steal in 37 consecutive games.

Charlotte's 133 points matched their season high and was a new season high for a Pacers opponent, surpassing the 131 points Indiana allowed to Brooklyn in the season opener on Oct. 18.

The Hornets finished the night shooting 53 percent from the field and went 15-for-33 from 3-point range (45.5 percent). They also made 30-of-34 attempts from the free throw line, with Walker going a perfect 14-for-14 from the charity stripe.

Former Indiana University All-American Cody Zeller returned to action for the Hornets on Friday after missing the previous 27 games due to a left knee injury. Zeller played 15 minutes off the bench, scoring five points on 2-of-6 shooting and collecting three rebounds.

You Can Quote Me On That

"It's been tough all season long on our starts, but that's no excuse for us losing the game. We still came back and gave ourselves a chance to win and put ourselves in a position to where we could try to build off some momentum, but that's a tough, resilient team." -Pacers forward Thaddeus Young

"They came out firing and they were hot all night. They had a great game. It's tough to tell with a guy like (Walker) who can pretty much do everything offensively. It was tough. They played well, so credit to them." -Oladipo

"Obviously good ball movement, unselfish play, and some terrific individual performances. Obviously Kemba and Nic, but also Michael Carter Williams. We had no answer for their pick-and-roll game there with Oladipo. And he (Carter-Williams) came in and did a really good job on him, at least slowed him a down a little bit — which was a big key in the game." -Hornets head coach Steve Clifford

"This is the NBA. You are not really going to blow teams out, so you know all teams keep on pushing. We just stayed
tough, stayed resilient, we stayed within ourselves, and we made the right plays necessary to get this win." -Walker

Stat of the Night

The Hornets' 49 points in the fourth quarter were the most by any team in any quarter this season, the most by Charlotte in a single quarter in franchise history, and the most by a Pacers opponent in any quarter in NBA franchise history. The previous most by a Pacers opponent was 47, set by Golden State in the fourth quarter of a game on March 19, 1977.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have lost their last four games in Charlotte.
  • The Pacers and Hornets will play twice more in the final two games of the regular season for both teams. They will meet on April 8 in Charlotte and then again two days later in Indianapolis.
  • Oladipo went 10-for-11 from the free throw line on Friday and now has made over 1,000 free throws in his career.
  • Indiana is now 6-6 on the season when playing the first night of a back-to-back and 4-4 when that game occurs on the road.
    The Pacers have two more back-to-backs remaining on their schedule.

Up Next

The Pacers return home to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night, Feb. 3 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »