The Charlotte Hornets rode a record-setting team performance to victory in a 122-100 drubbing of the Indiana Pacers.
Well Then. Following Friday’s 99-95 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, a few days rest permeated into the best game of the young season for this upstart Hornets team. On Monday night, the Charlotte Hornets dropped a team-record 75 points in the first half cruising to a 122-100 win against the Indiana Pacers. The victory also secured their best start in franchise history at 5-1 on the year.
Keys To The Contest
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Kemba Cruises To A Double-Double
The Hornets came into the Spectrum Center on a mission to quell their string of slow starts and Kemba Walker was their guide, dropping ten of the team’s 43 first quarter points. Walker was an assassin all game scoring on nasty dribble drives to the rim, which netted him a 5-6 night from the free throw line. Charlotte dominated the charity stripe, going 18-32 compared to Indiana’s 11-15 mark. Walker paired the touch around the basket with an efficient night beyond the arc, ending 5-6 from
Walker paired the touch around the basket with an efficient night beyond the arc, ending 5-6 from three-point range. He finished with a game-high 24 points on an efficient 7-11 shooting night. Some crisp passing added 10 assists to Walker’s stat line, capping off his first double-double this season.
Hornets Bench Thrives
Aside from Walker, the rest of the Hornets played beautiful team basketball, everyone on the team saw minutes and only two players didn’t record a basket. Marco Belinelli scored 12 off the bench and this beautiful play late in the first half sums up the Hornets reserve performance in one word, opportunistic.
The continued absence of Roy Hibbert opened the door for Spencer Hawes to notch his first double-double since January of last season. Hawes led the team with 13 rebounds and paired those with 13 points to lead the Hornets bench. Drop in daggers like this one crushed the Pacers second team all night.
Among the few casualties from the Hornets thrashing of Indiana was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who ended up suffering a sore back near the end of the first half. Kidd-Gilchrist returned to the bench later in the game but Coach Clifford opted to keep him out of the blowout.
“He wanted to keep playing. But he was laboring out there and we can’t have him hurt. He’s been sore. Hopefully, he’ll get treatment and we’ll see how he feels.” – Coach Clifford
The Hornets will hope his recovery time is swift enough to be ready for a showdown against the Utah Jazz in the Spectrum Center on Wednesday. MKG scored a career-high 13 first quarter points before his back flared up.
Pick And Roll Prowess
Kemba and the Hornets offense have torn defenses apart with the pick and roll all year, and this Pacers team was no exception. Watch three Pacer defenders get shredded by a Marvin Williams three after shifting to defend the Walker/Zeller pick and roll combo.
Paul George wasn’t thrilled with his teams’ effort against the Hornets pick and roll, as they easily gave up open shots to the simple offense all night. George didn’t exactly carry the team, though, scoring 10 points on 4-12 shooting from the field.
“We’re all out of whack. There’s no trust, there’s no chemistry, there’s no belief. We’re kind of just lifeless right now.” – Paul George
These two teams appear headed in opposite directions. Luckily for Charlotte fans, the one with all of the life plays in The Hive.