Indianapolis (TSN) – David West notched a triple-double and the Indiana Pacers grabbed their 10th straight home victory with a 96-88 decision over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday.
West tallied 14 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the red hot Pacers, who have won four games in a row and 13 of their last 16. Indiana, which also received 19 points from George Hill, has won 10 games in a row at home for the first time since a 14-game streak in the 2002-03 season.
Lance Stephenson was good for 17 points on 8-of-13 attempts from the field and also had seven rebounds and four steals. D.J. Augustin contributed 18 points off the bench.
Pacers’ season-leading scorer Paul George sat out the contest with the flu.
Ben Gordon scored a game-high 21 points and Kemba Walker filled the stat sheet with 16 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks. The Bobcats, though, were unable to break their losing habits as the team dropped their third in a row and fell for the 22nd time in the last 24 contests.
In a close ball game, Gordon and Ramon Sessions came on strong in the final two minutes of the third, combining for the Bobcats’ final nine points of the quarter, but West gave Indiana a 69-65 edge heading into the fourth after connecting on his fifth basket of the period.
After falling behind by seven early in the final quarter, consecutive buckets from Walker, Gordon and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist brought the Bobcats within one at 76-75, but the Pacers used an 11-3 push to pull away for good.
Hill scored seven points during the stretch, sparking the run with a mid-range jumper and capping it with a 3-pointer to give Indiana an 87-78 advantage with 2:43 remaining.
After drawing a foul on a layup to cut the Pacers’ lead to six, Hakim Warrick could not finish the 3-point play as his free throw misfired. West grabbed the board and completed his triple-double when he heaved a full court pass to Stephenson for an uncontested dunk to seal the victory.
Despite scoring the first eight points unanswered to start the game, Charlotte maintained just a one-point lead at the end of the first.
The Pacers only connected on 7-of-21 attempts from the field in the second quarter, but six of those makes came from beyond the arc. Indiana quickly grabbed the lead and built a 35-27 edge following Gerald Green’s second triple of the period, but Charlotte pulled even at 43 on Gordon’s 3-pointer.
After two minutes without a score for either team, Warrick knocked down a 17-foot jumper with five seconds left in the half to send the Bobcats into the break with a 45-43 lead.
Notes: Indiana has won eight straight games over the Bobcats at home … The Pacers are 15-3 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season … Charlotte has dropped 10 of its last 12 games against the Pacers … There were five ties and five lead changes throughout the game.
“That was a really good win. A lot of guys stepped up in particular David West with a triple-double. D.J. (Augustin) hit some big 3s against his old team. We struggled to score early, but give them credit, they’re a competitive team. They were tough to guard all night. They were doubling David every time he touched the ball, so we knew that would open up some 3s. (On going with Ian Mahinmi down the stretch) I thought Roy played well but there are few guys (on other teams) I’ll change with down the stretch and Kemba Walker is one of them.”
“We just did our best to fill in with Paul George out, missing his first game. (On recent team success) It took us a few games to figure it out; once we got Lance (Stephenson) in the starting lineup, we got a rotation. We should actually have a better record than we do, maybe four or five more wins. I’ve been close to a triple-double a bunch of times and finally pushed it through tonight. They (the Bobcats) change things up with the zone and they have scoring guards, so it came down to us making plays at both ends.”
“Not really special having a good game against my old team. I’ve moved on. It felt like another game to me. I got a lot of open looks tonight. When you play with David and George you will get open looks. They (the Bobcats) are tough to play against. They attack non-stop, they are third in transition points. It’s a tough game.”