(CHARLOTTE, NC.). – The three-game losing streak ends for the Indiana Pacers (28-23) with their second wire-to-wire win of the season. Indiana defeats the Charlotte Hornets (10-38) 115-99.
After struggling to defend the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, the Pacers came out ready to defend. Rick Carlisle’s team scored the first nine points of the game in just under two minutes of game action. Aaron Nesmith got the scoring started with a triple with Pascal Siakam scoring the next six points. Charlotte went on a small run to cut it to a four-point game. The Pacers then countered by outscoring the Hornets by eleven to go ahead 26-11 with 1:03 left. After twelve minutes, the Pacers led 26-13. Siakam led all scorers with 9 points followed by Bennedict Mathurin with 7 points.
Perhaps the Pacers lost their focus for a little bit to start the second quarter because Charlotte was without LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward in this game. The Hornets forced the Pacers to call a timeout after narrowing their deficit to 33-25. Indiana responded by going on a 7-0 run to go back up 15. From there, the Pacers maintained the double-figure lead besides once instance where Charlotte cut it down to eight again. However, the Pacers would still lead 55-44 after being outscored 31-29 in the quarter. Charlotte’s P.J. Washington led all scorers with 13 points followed by Tyrese Haliburton with 12 points. Indiana held Charlotte to 36.2% in the first half from the field and 21.4% from behind the arc.
Charlotte’s second quarter success would carry over to the start of the third quarter because of Brandon Miller displaying why he was taken second overall in the draft. He scored the first ten points for the Hornets in the second half. He single handedly made it a five-point game 44 seconds into the third quarter. Following an Ish Smith three later in the third, the Hornets were within four before the Pacers went on a run that sealed the game. Myles Turner started the run with a three-point play, and it was capped off with Jalen Smith knocking down a triple. After Smith made it 63-69, Indiana outscored Charlotte 22-4. After three quarters, they led 91-76. Miller erupted for 17 points in the quarter to lead all scorers after three with 25 points. Indiana was led in scoring by Siakam with 20 points.
Neither team would have much offensive success in the final quarter of play. Indiana outscored Charlotte 24-23 because the Hornets only made eight shots on twenty attempts. The Pacers shot 50% from the field despite going 1/6 from downtown. The starters, minus Haliburton, did have to play in the fourth quarter because the Hornets were lingering. With 4:20 left, they trailed Indiana by twelve. Indiana went on one final run to go back up by 20 with exactly 60 seconds remaining. They would end up winning it 115-99..
TOP PERFORMERS: Pascal Siakam (25p, 9a, 8r), Aaron Nesmith (22p, 8r, 4a), Myles Turner (16p and 10r), and Tyrese Haliburton (17p and 4a in 20 minutes). For Charlotte, Brandon Miller (35p, 6r, 2b) and P.J. Washington (22p and 9r). For tonight’s full box score, click here.
NOTES: Aaron Nesmith recorded his seventh game with 20+ points this season. Myles Turner and Nate Richards notched their tenth double-doubles of the season. The 99 points for Charlotte are the fewest points an opponent has scored against the Pacers this season. Charlotte’s 13 first quarter points are the fewest points the Pacers have allowed in the first quarter. Brandon Miller’s 35 points are a career high and the first time he’s scored more than 30.
NEXT UP: Indiana returns home after a day off to take on the Houston Rockets Tuesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm with the Kroger Pregame Show starting at 6:30pm with Pat Boylan on 93.5/107.5 The Fan.
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