NBA: Hornets erase 21-point deficit to top Pacers
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 28 points and the Charlotte Hornets wiped out a 21-point first-half deficit to defeat the visiting Indiana Pacers 115-109 on Monday night.
Terry Rozier racked up 23 points and Gordon Hayward hit a pair of key fourth-quarter baskets to finish with 22 points as the Hornets snapped a four-game losing streak by winning the finale of a five-game homestand. Nick Richards supplied 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.
Myles Turner and Buddy Hield both had 20 points for the Pacers (32-40), who couldn’t overcome a five-minute scoring drought down the stretch. Bennedict Mathurin notched 18 points, Isaiah Jackson had 12 and Jalen Smith added 10.
The teams combined to attempt 66 free throws.
Charlotte (23-50) took a brief lead in the third quarter and then didn’t hit a field goal in the final 2 1/2 minutes of the period and trailed 88-85 going to the fourth.
Hield’s 3-pointer stretched the margin to 105-96 with 6:23 to play. Less than two minutes later, Hayward’s 3 pushed the Hornets into a 107-105 lead with 3:34 left.
When Indiana finally scored again on Aaron Nesmith’s drive with 1:08 to play, Hayward answered with a three-point play to put Charlotte up 112-107.
The Hornets were battered on the boards for the second game in a row. Indiana had a 48-37 rebounding advantage.
Indiana held a 45-18 edge in bench scoring, but was harmed by 21 turnovers.
Charlotte had a big second quarter to get back into range, trailing 66-58 at halftime despite 2-for-13 shooting on 3-pointers. Oubre posted 12 points in the second quarter to end up with 19 by halftime.
Indiana’s 13 first-half turnovers negated some of the impact from the team’s 55.3-percent shooting from the field. Turner, who had 15 points slightly more than six minutes into the game, was 10-for-11 on free throws before the break.
The Pacers were pretty much unstoppable in the first quarter while building a 40-22 lead.