A strong start carried the Charlotte Hornets to their third straight victory as they knocked off the Indiana Pacers in Big Al’s return to Buzz City.
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The Charlotte Hornets (5-1) were able to defeat the Indiana Pacers (3-4) in blowout fashion after a record first half performance. After the strong start, the Hornets never looked back as they kept their foot on the pedal. Charlotte is now off to their best start in team history.
The Hornets were once again without Roy Hibbert (knee) and Jeremy Lamb (hamstring) in this one but Marvin Williams (viral infection) who was questionable, did play. Al Jefferson made his return to Charlotte and was greeted by former teammates and a standing ovation from the fans. The team also ran a tribute video for Big Al.
Charlotte used a strong start to lead them past Indiana as they scored 27 points in the first six minutes of the game. They scored 43 points in the first quarter which tied the most by an NBA team in any quarter this season and was one short of the team record for points in a quarter. The Hornets ended the first half with 75 points which matched a franchise record for points in a half.
Kemba Walker led the way with 24 points and 10 assists. He recorded his first double-double of the season in this one. Cody Zeller and MKG each added 13 points to help the Hornets’ cause. Spencer Hawes had a double-double of his own off the bench with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went to the locker room with a sore back and even though he returned in the second half, he was quickly subbed out and did not return. The injury doesn’t appear to be serious.
The Pacers were led by C.J. Miles who scored 23 points. Big Al scored 12 points and nine rebounds in his return. Myles Turner added 12 points and Charlotte’s defense held all-star Paul George to only 10 points on 4-12 shooting from the field.
The Hornets have their first 5-1 start in team history.
Every active player received game time in this one.
Kemba recorded his fifth straight 20+ point game.
Treveon Graham scored his first NBA points with a three-point shot in the second quarter.
Charlotte opened up their three-game homestand with an impressive win over the Pacers to take a 1-0 lead in the season series. They will meet three more times in the 2016 campaign. Luckily, Steve Clifford was able to rest his starters in the fourth quarter so they should be fresh for the team’s next game.
The Charlotte Hornets will take on the Utah Jazz in their next game. It will be the first meeting between the two sides this season after splitting their two-game series last year. That game will take place on Wednesday, November 9th at 7:00 p.m. in Buzz City.