So about this slow starts thing …
The Charlotte Hornets were developing a nasty pattern of sluggish starts to games. That made Monday’s first quarter against the Indiana Pacers all the more impressive. They scored off their first 12 possessions, built a 20-point lead and cruised to a 122-100 victory at Spectrum Center.
The Hornets are 5-1, the best start in franchise history. They have home games against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday and Toronto Raptors on Friday before a Sunday matchup with the reigning champion Cavaliers in Cleveland.
Seven Hornets scored in double figures, as the franchise record for first-half points (75) was tied. Point guaard Kemba Walker ended the night with 24 points and 10 assists, making five of six 3-point attempts.
Three who mattered
Kemba Walker: He made his first three 3-point attempts and scored 16 points in the first half.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: He scored 10 points in the game’s first four minutes to set the tone for the first half.
Spencer Hawes: He came off the bench for a double-double in points and rebounds.
▪ Hornets power forward Marvin Williams started, despite missing practice Sunday with a viral infection.
▪ Hornets coach Steve Clifford said before the game he’s concerned about the up-tick in his team’s turnovers. The Hornets committed 31 in their two games before the matchup with the Pacers.
▪ Those 43 first-quarter points tied for most in a quarter in the NBA this season.
▪ The 75 points in the first half tied the franchise record for points in a half.
▪ The Hornets again played without Roy Hibbert (sore right knee) and Jeremy Lamb (hamstring).
▪ Hornets backup point guard Ramon Sessions leads the NBA in assists-to-turnover ratio at 5.5.
▪ Hornets small forward Kidd-Gilchrist left the game in the second quarter with a sore lower back. He started the third quarter, but sat out the fourth.
A+ OFFENSE: The Hornets shot 57 percent from the field in the first half and 50 percent from the 3-point line.
B DEFENSE: The Hornets pestered the Pacers into 10 first-half turnovers.
A COACHING: This was a spectacular way to end that stretch of slow starts this season..
Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell