Just 4 days later after a 105-96 home win over the Charlotte Hornets, the Indiana Pacers were back in action with Charlotte again this time on the road on Friday night. The Pacers, unfortunately, would not end with the same result, falling short of a miraculous comeback, losing 133-126.
Why would it have been a miraculous comeback you might ask? The Hornets dropped 49 points on the Pacers in just the first quarter in a huge offensive outburst. Indiana’s scoring normally would be very strong with 37 points, but Charlotte feasted off their defense and took advantage. Just for reference, the Hornets shot 81.8 percent from the field and 63.6 percent from three.
Excusing the first quarter, the Pacers did a tremendous job in recovering in the second and third quarters. Their defense would hold Charlotte to just 22 points in the second half, making the gap only 14-points which is not a lot considering what went transpired in the first quarter.
In the third quarter, Indiana would really gain some ground outscoring the Hornets 34-25. They would eventually catch up and tie Charlotte 82-82 with 4:43 left in the third before the Hornets would gain the lead back. The Pacers would cut the deficit to one-point multiple times and settled with a five-point deficit going into the fourth quarter.
From there, the Hornets would take control over the first five minutes with a 9-point lead. Indiana at best would cut it to four points shortly after and then again with 40 seconds left. Charlotte proved to be too strong of a team in terms of offense, rattling off a 5-2 scoring run within the final 40 seconds to shut the door on a possible Pacers comeback.
NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo poured in a team-high 35 points on 11-21 shooting from the field, 3-4 from three, and 10-11 from the free throw line. Oladipo added 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block with just 1 turnover for a very productive performance.
Myles Turner chipped in a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds along with 3 blocks in just his second start since returning from injury. The 21-year old had 22 points against Charlotte last week in his second game in total since his right elbow injury.
Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points on 5-10 shooting. Lance Stephenson finished with 15 points on 5-11 shooting, and Cory Joseph contributed 12 points on 5-8 shooting. Darren Collison chipped in 10 points and 3 steals.
Despite the loss, the Pacers shot the ball extremely well going 44-87 (50.6%) from the field, 12-29 (41.4%) from three, and 26-28 (92.9%) from the free throw line. It is not too often you see a team put up those kinds of numbers but still lose by 7-points. If the first quarter has swayed in a different way, we would have seen a dominating win because those numbers are lights out.
Everywhere else on the scoreboard, the Pacers managed to haul in 31 rebounds, dish out 21 assists, rack up 10 steals, and block 6 shots. They would also control the ball very well, committing just 11 turnovers compared to the foes 16. Indiana would score 6 points off the fast break, and 48 points from the paint.
The Pacers fall to 29-24 this season and a 3-game win streak has been snapped. However, luckily for Indiana, there will be only two more back-to-backs this season which is a relief because they are 6-6 in such games. They will look to rebound with a home game not too far out, actually just the next day this Saturday at 7:00 PM Eastern when they host the 76ers.