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Indiana 103, Charlotte 76

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Record-breakingly bad on boards

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After flirting with the longest losing streak ever in the NBA, the Charlotte Bobcats weren’t looking to make history. Certainly not this kind of history: They were outrebounded by 29 Tuesday, the largest such deficit in the team’s nine-season existence. That sums up a 103-76 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

“It was embarrassing,’’ said backup power forward Jeff Adrien, whose six boards tied center Bismack Biyombo for most among the Bobcats. “That was definitely a total team effort. We’ve been having trouble on the boards these last couple of games.’’

It was the fifth game in a row that the Bobcats (9-29) were outrebounded, but nothing before this compared with the 60-31 deficit against the big and burly Pacers. The Bobcats’ previous worst was a 27-board deficit on the road against the Utah Jazz in 2007.

The loss was the Bobcats’ 13th consecutive at home, and the boos were noticeable with the Bobcats falling behind by 20 or more points through much of the second half. The Bobcats don’t have a great selection of big men this season and rely heavily on the guards to score. In fact, the team’s top four scorers are guards.

That creates a different dynamic for them to survive on the boards.

“We’ve done pretty well when we’ve rebounded by committee,’’ said coach Mike Dunlap. “We don’t have anybody that’s in double figures night-in and night-out…

“It’s a ‘we’ thing.’’

Point guard Kemba Walker played the second half with a sprained ankle, but other than that everyone available was healthy.

Over the previous four games – all losses – the Bobcats were outrebounded by two, seven, 10 and eight boards. But Tuesday’s 29-board differential tied the highest in the NBA this season; the Minnesota Timberwolves outrebounded the Miami Heat by that margin in December (yet still managed to lose).

That meant even on a night when the Pacers (24-15) shot 41 percent from the field, they rolled to victory. Indiana scored a quarter of its points (26) off 18 offensive rebounds. Pacers center Roy Hibbert led all scorers with 18 points (plus seven rebounds and four blocks).

This was the fourth game in five nights for the Bobcats, and they looked tired. Dunlap gave them Wednesday off, with the next game Friday in Orlando. But co-captain Gerald Henderson, the only Bobcat to reach 15 points, didn’t accept that as an excuse for this performance.

“We were still in the game at halftime, down 10’’ after trailing by as much as 17, Henderson said. “I don’t know if we had the most energy tonight, but that rebounding margin was ridiculous.’’

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