It wasn’t pretty at times, but the Charlotte Hornets were able to beat the Indiana Pacers 116-108 – moving Charlotte to 19-17 on the season. Charlotte ends 2021 with a win and three days of rest before facing the Phoenix Suns to start 2022 on Sunday. The Hornets have now beaten the Pacers three times this season…remember the Pacers were the team that blew Charlotte out in the play-in tournament last season. The Hornets didn’t have their best shooting performance from thee-point range and from the foul line, but still found a way to shoot 50% from the field. Let’s breakdown where this game was won for the Hornets.
Points in the Paint:
Charlotte scored 54 points in the paint while only holding the Pacers to 32 points in the paint. On a night where the Hornets did not shoot the ball well from the outside, they were able to score nearly half of their points in the paint. Charlotte also held Indiana big-man Domantas Sabonis to only 15 points on 3/9 shooting.
Nearly Messed Around and Got a Triple Double:
LaMelo Ball should’ve had a triple double, but the Hornets missed a lot of threes off his passes. Nonetheless, LaMelo did his thing scoring 21 points. 12 rebounds and 9 assists. It was a very good performance from Ball as he pushes to make an All-Star bid.
Scary Terry Drops Buckets:
Terry Rozier continued his strong play with 35 points and 7 rebounds. Terry shot 5-9 from three fresh off of a strong 27-point performance against the Rockets where he hit seven threes. Terry did the majority of his damage against the Pacers in the 1st and 4th quarters, setting the tone early and finished them off late.
Homecoming for Hayward:
Gordon Hayward returned to his home state and played a very steady game. Hayward had 18 points on an efficient 8-13 from the floor. They’re times where we expect more from Hayward, but he has been a steady vet through most of this season and tonight was one of those games where if you weren’t paying attention to the stats, it wouldn’t seem like he scored 18 points until you check the box score. Hayward is the veteran on this team and there will be a time when the Hornets will need a 30-point performance from Hayward, but more importantly the Hornets will need Hayward healthy for the 2022 portion of their schedule.
Charlotte has a nice three days off to get rested and hopefully get Miles Bridges and PJ Washington out of covid protocols before they take on the Phoenix Suns on Sunday at the Spectrum Center.