Charlotte Hornets

Stop Paul George? Not this night as Indiana Pacers roll past Charlotte Hornets

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) scored 39 points as the Pacers defeated the Hornets 98-77 Wednesday in Indianapolis.
Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) scored 39 points as the Pacers defeated the Hornets 98-77 Wednesday in Indianapolis. AP

The Charlotte Hornets let a close game get away from them in the second half Wednesday, falling 98-75 to the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Hornets and Pacers were tied 42-42 at halftime, but Indiana went on a Paul George-fueled run to open the third quarter. The Pacers (35-33) outscored the Hornets 23-5 to open the quarter and the outcome was never in doubt after that.

George scored 13 of the Pacers’ first 18 points of the second half. Indiana went on to bury the Hornets with a 23-5 run to open the half.

“You could see it from the beginning of the game, he had that look in his eye,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said of George, who ended with 39 points. “We worked on it a lot (Wednesday) morning, but he got his spots easily and he made us pay. Once he got into a rhythm, it’s hard to stop him.”

The Hornets (29-39) are off until Saturday, when they host the Washington Wizards.

George bettered his output of 36 in a Hornets victory in Charlotte on March 6.

“You’re not going to stop him from scoring, you’re just going to slow him down,” said Hornets forward Marvin Williams. “Tonight, we didn’t slow him down.”

You’re not going to stop (Paul George) from scoring, you’re just going to slow him down. Tonight, we didn’t slow him down.

Hornets forward Marvin Williams

Three who mattered

Paul George: Was a one-man gang for a while for the Pacers, including scoring 13 of the Pacers’ first 23 points of the third quarter.

Frank Kaminsky: Working his way back into form after missing five games with a sprained shoulder, scored 20 on seven-of-15 shooting.

Marco Belinelli: Had a nice offensive game off the bench, scoring 11 points on four-of-11 shooting.

Observations

▪  Hornets guard Nic Batum missed a second consecutive game with a migraine. Coach Steve Clifford wanted to be cautious with Batum and have him ready for Saturday’s home game against Washington.

▪  The Hornets held the Pacers to 48.7 percent shooting in the first half. That’s not necessarily a great defensive performance, but it contributed to Indiana scoring one basket in the final four minutes of the half.

▪ The Hornets wanted to drive the ball on the Pacers and did so effectively in the first half, outscoring Indiana 28-14 in the paint.

Worth mentioning

▪ Forward Johnny O’Bryant (sprained ankle) has returned but did not dress for the game. Center Miles Plumlee (calf) and guard Ramon Sessions (knee) are both still out, although Clifford said they’ve been getting in some work on the court.

▪ Kemba Walker’s seven points tied a season low. He also had seven at Golden State on Feb. 1.

They said it

“It started with Paul George. He had a big night and he’s capable of having big nights.” – Hornets center Cody Zeller.

“Playing this team for the fourth time, I knew how they were going to guard me and I tried to take advantage.” – George.

“We were just being active. We tried to make him see bodies.” – Pacers guard Jeff Teague on containing Walker.

Report card

C- OFFENSE: There are going to be nights like this – 40.0 percent shooting, three-of-23 from 3-point range.

D DEFENSE: Only two Pacers scored in double figures – but when one of them scores 39 (George) it makes for a long night.

C- COACHING: Didn’t make second-half adjustments after a 42-42 first half.

David Scott: 704-358-5889, @davidscott14

Pacers 98, Hornets 77

CHARLOTTE (77)—Kidd-Gilchrist 5-8 0-0 10, Williams 2-8 0-0 4, Zeller 3-8 1-1 7, Walker 3-11 1-1 7, Lamb 3-9 2-2 8, Wood 0-0 0-0 0, Kaminsky 7-15 5-7 20, Weber 4-7 0-0 8, Roberts 1-2 0-0 2, Graham 0-2 0-0 0, Belinelli 4-10 1-2 11. Totals 32-80 10-13 77.

INDIANA (98)—George 15-21 3-3 39, Miles 3-6 2-2 9, T.Young 1-6 0-0 2, Turner 3-7 0-0 6, Teague 3-8 0-0 8, Robinson 4-5 0-0 9, Seraphin 3-4 0-0 6, Christmas 0-1 3-4 3, Stuckey 0-2 0-0 0, Brooks 0-0 0-0 0, J.Young 0-0 0-0 0, Ellis 7-13 0-0 16. Totals 39-73 8-9 98.

Charlotte

22

20

16

19

77

Indiana

24

18

33

23

98

3-Point Goals—Charlotte 3-23 (Belinelli 2-6, Kaminsky 1-8, Weber 0-1, Lamb 0-1, Roberts 0-1, Walker 0-3, Williams 0-3), Indiana 12-28 (George 6-10, Ellis 2-5, Teague 2-5, Robinson 1-2, Miles 1-4, T.Young 0-1, Stuckey 0-1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Charlotte 30 (Lamb 7), Indiana 42 (Turner 11). Assists—Charlotte 15 (Walker 4), Indiana 26 (Teague 11). Total Fouls—Charlotte 13, Indiana 15. A—14,169 (18,165).

  Comments