Pacers vs Hornets

Game Recap: Hornets 114, Pacers 97

The Hornets defeated the Pacers, 114-97. Miles Bridges led the way for the Hornets with a game-high 23 points, along with 10 rebounds, while Caris LeVert tallied 16 points, four rebounds and five assi

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Game Recap: Hornets 114, Pacers 97

The Hornets defeated the Pacers, 114-97. Miles Bridges led the way for the Hornets with a game-high 23 points, along with 10 rebounds, while Caris LeVert tallied 16 points, four rebounds and five assi
Apr 2, 2021  |  00:02

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room – April 2, 2021

April 2, 2021 – Nate Bjorkgren, Caris LeVert, and T.J. McConnell speak with the media following Indiana's 114-97 loss to the Charlotte Hornets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Apr 2, 2021  |  01:56

Sabonis Hits Turner Down Low

April 2, 2021 - Domantas Sabonis hits Myles Turner with the tough high-low pass, and Turner puts it right up and in.
Apr 2, 2021  |  00:08

Pacers Scramble for Three

April 2, 2021 - The Pacers force the turnover and fight to keep possession. Domantas Sabonis pushes it up the floor and sends a no-look pass over to Justin Holiday for the 3-pointer.
Apr 2, 2021  |  00:11

Goga With the Tough Layup

April 2, 2021 - Goga Bitadze hits the tough reverse layup off the feed from Edmond Sumner.
Apr 2, 2021  |  00:06

Sumner Finishes Through Contact

April 2, 2021 - The Pacers swing it around the horn and Edmond Sumner drives to finish through the foul.
Apr 2, 2021  |  00:10

Turner Challenges the Fastbreak

April 2, 2021 - Myles Turner challenges the fastbreak layup, and Edmond Sumner finishes on the other end.
Apr 2, 2021  |  00:11

LeVert Steals and Scores

April 2, 2021 - Caris LeVert picks off the pass and takes it all the way to the rim.
Apr 2, 2021  |  00:08

McConnell Turns the Corner

April 2, 2021 - T.J. McConnell turns the corner and hits the reverse layup.
Apr 2, 2021  |  00:08

Pacers Scrap for the Three

April 2, 2021 - The Pacers fight to keep the ball alive, and T.J. McConnell pushes it to Doug McDermott for the 3-pointer.
Apr 2, 2021  |  00:14

Game Rewind: Pacers 97, Hornets 114

Friday, April 2, 2021 at 8:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

Game Recap

With just 26 games remaining in the regular season, Indiana is looking to climb up the tightly compacted Eastern Conference standings. The trek started tonight with a bout against the Charlotte Hornets inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Unfortunately, it was a similar story for the shorthanded Pacers down the stretch. After the squad cut Charlotte's lead to 97-91 with 5:50 remaining, the Hornets outscored the hosts 17-6 in crunch time. The visitors (25-22) walked away with a comfortable 114-97 win over the Blue & Gold (21-26). The Pacers have now been outscored in the fourth quarter in five of their last six games.

When the final buzzer rang, Indiana found itself down three of its usual starters – two due to injury. Malcolm Brogdon was a late pregame scratch due to a sore right hip. Domantas Sabonis, who ended the night with eight points and 10 boards, left early after suffering a sprained right ankle. Myles Turner (seven points, eight rebounds, one block) fouled out late in the fourth quarter. Although six Pacers did finish in double figures, it was simply not enough. Caris LeVert ultimately led the squad with 16 points. But, he was just 5-of-13 from the floor.

"Obviously, we're frustrated," LeVert said postgame. "We're competitors. We're losing games right now. But honestly, we didn't play well tonight with our effort. That can't happen."

Despite having plenty of games to make up ground in the Eastern Conference standings, the Pacers now find themselves on the short end of one of the NBA's first tie-breaking statistics – regular-season series records. After Charlotte's win tonight, four teams now own 2-1 series advantages over the Blue & Gold.

"(We're) trying hard, man," coach Nate Bjorkgren said. "The team's trying hard. The guys that are out there are trying hard...when we just needed that good push or good surge, we just couldn't quite get it."

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Tracking the Latest Standings, Remaining Schedules, and More »

A scorching start on both sides saw four lead changes over the first four minutes of the game. But, Charlotte soon earned an edge thanks to Gordon Hayward. The Brownsburg, Indiana native notched seven of Charlotte's first 15 points and four assists to earn a three-point advantage with 6:47 to play.

After Charlotte extended the lead to 19-14, Indiana used quick hands on defense to rattle off six straight to regain a lead. Turner and Sabonis clogged the passing lanes in the paint, leading to steals and back-to-back triples from Justin Holiday and Doug McDermott with 3:45 to go.

However, the visitors outscored Indiana 9-4 to finish the frame to take a 28-24 lead into the second. The Blue & Gold had a chance to trim the lead in the final 11 seconds after securing a couple of offensive rebounds but came up empty.

The unconventional lineup of Aaron Holiday, Edmond Sumner, McDermott, JaKarr Sampson, and Goga Bitadze gave Charlotte fits to start the second. Two buckets by the youngest Holiday sandwiched a nifty reverse layup from Bitadze in a 6-0 spree to earn a 30-28 Indiana lead with 9:41 remaining.

Indiana's lead fluctuated between four points and one over the next several minutes as both teams went cold from the floor. Sabonis' cutting finger roll layup pushed the lead to 41-38 before consecutive layups from Brad Wanamaker and Cody Zeller bumped Charlotte ahead at the 4:33 mark.

The Hornets then turned to Miles Bridges to extend the lead before halftime. The former Michigan State forward notched three triples in a 2:06 span to earn a 54-46 lead with 1:22 left in the half. He added a fourth with just 1.9 seconds remaining to extend Charlotte's lead to 60-49 before the break. 16 of Bridges' game-high 23 points came in the second quarter alone.

Three Pacers turnovers in their first four possessions of the third led to a 7-2 Hornets run that extended the lead to 67-51 at the 10:10 mark of the frame.

After, Indiana did little to chew into the lead until the squad managed a 9-2 run – seven from LeVert – after getting a few stops. A bucket and a free throw from the new Pacer trimmed the lead to 12 with 6:04 to go. After Wanamaker answered, the former Michigan standout notched four more en route to cutting the Hornets' lead to 72-62 at the 5:35 mark.

Aaron Holiday attempted to take over the scoring duties for the Blue & Gold, notching five straight to trim the deficit to 76-69 with 2:46 to go. However, Devonte' Graham quickly erased the spree with five of his own.

But, the Pacers kept on fighting to close the frame.

Trailing 82-69 with 1:55 to go, Indiana used a 7-0 run, including five from Bitadze, to close the gap to 82-76 with 10.2 seconds remaining. Although, an errant foul from Aaron Holiday in the closing second sent Terry Rozier to the free-throw line. He sank 2-of-3 to extend Charlotte's lead back to eight heading into the final period.

A couple of speedy buckets from T.J. McConnell helped trim Indiana's deficit to six, twice in the opening two minutes of the fourth. However, Charlotte pushed its lead back to double digits, 95-82, behind a string of seven unanswered – four from second-chance points.

But, the crafty point guard continued to pilot the offense for Indiana, recording six more as part of a 9-2 run. With 5:50 to go, he snapped a pass to a wide-open McDermott for a triple along the left baseline. The surge trimmed the deficit to 97-91. Charlotte called a timeout to slow things down.

Unfortunately, the tactic worked. Zeller, Wanamaker, and Rozier connected on three consecutive Hornets possessions to extend the lead back to 103-91 with 4:43 remaining. To make matters worse, Turner then collected his fifth and sixth foul, sending him to the bench. With both starting big men sidelined, the visitors had no problem extending the lead by getting to the paint and finished out the game with ease.

Inside The Numbers

Starting in place of Malcolm Brogdon, Edmond Sumner finished with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, six rebounds, and three assists. He was the lone Pacers starter to finish with a positive +/- rating (+6).

Indiana fired home just 11 of its 19 free-throw attempts (57.9 percent), a new season-low for the squad.

After winning four of five from Mar. 19-26, Indiana has now dropped three consecutive games for the third time this season.

You Can Quote Me On That

"I don't know why that is. We love it here in Indianapolis. It's great to see the fans out there. It really is. They're so supportive, wearing the jerseys, and cheering. It's a good group. It's a good place to be. I don't know why we've been better on the road. But we need to get better in all areas." –Bjorkgren on the struggles at home

"Definitely some resiliency. I kind of feel like, when a bad play happens – or when a play doesn't go in our favor – we kind of put our heads down. And that compounds. It comes from a good place though. It's nothing to call home about. It's just that we want to win so bad, and when something doesn't go our way it hurts." –McConnell on what he wants to see over the last 25 games

Stat of the Night

The Pacers committed a season-high 20 turnovers leading to 17 Charlotte points.

Noteworthy

  • With the win, the Hornets improve to 20-0 on the season when leading after three quarters.
  • Indiana falls to 8-21 on the season when shooting between 40 and 49 percent from the field.
  • Myles Turner has now posted a block in 62 consecutive appearances this season. He is just the 21st player in NBA history to tally a swat in at least 60 straight games.

Up Next

The Pacers travel to San Antonio to face the Spurs on the second night of a back-to-back on Saturday, April 3 at 9:00 PM ET.

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for all upcoming Pacers home games from March 17 - April 21 are now on sale. Tickets for the final nine regular season home games will go on sale on Monday, April 19. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »





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