Charlotte (TSN) – Paul George scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and Roy Hibbert added 18 points and four blocks as Indiana outlasted the Charlotte Bobcats, 103-76, at Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday.
David West contributed 15 points and eight rebounds and George Hill added 16 points for the Pacers, who stopped a three-game road skid and improved to 14-4 in their last 18 games.
Gerald Henderson scored 15 points and Kemba Walker tallied 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor for the Bobcats, who are now 2-24 in their last 26 games since starting the season 7-5.
The Bobcats kept things relatively close early on, despite trailing 25-11 with just under four minutes remaining in the first quarter. A Walker 3-pointer started a 9-2 run over the final 3:22 that was capped by Jeff Adrien’s two free throws with 33.9 seconds left, and Charlotte trailed, 27-20.
Midway through the second quarter, following back-to-back Walker baskets which closed the gap to five, 33-28, the Bobcats turned to him again. This time, Walker missed a deep 2-point try and landed on the defenders foot, rolling his ankle. He missed the rest of the quarter.
Immediately following Walker’s injury, the Pacers answered with a 15-3 surge, giving the visitors a 48-31 lead with just over two minutes before halftime. The Bobcats fought back, however, with six consecutive Ramon Sessions points, starting another 9-2 run to enter the break down 10, 50-40.
The second half, however, was a different story.
The Pacers turned up the heat in the third quarter, outscoring the Bobcats, 33-17. They limited the home team to just 7-of-16 shooting, while George and Hibbert added 10 points a piece, helping Indiana to a comfortable 83-57 lead before cruising to the victory.
Sessions played well off the bench for Charlotte, finishing with 13 points, but the Bobcats in general shot poorly at 34.7 percent from the floor. They were outscored in the paint, 52-22 and lost the battle on the boards, 60-31.
Notes: The Pacers are 9-12 away from home this season as opposed to a 15-3 mark in Indianapolis … Charlotte has not won a home game since a Nov. 21 victory versus Toronto … The Pacers have won 11 of 12 in the series and 13 of the last 16 meetings.
(On tonight’s game) “It was a really good win for our guys. I’m proud of our effort and our discipline. No matter who you are playing or what the circumstances are, to build a 30-point lead on the road, I’m just proud of our effort.”
(On winning five of the last six games) “We’re really playing good basketball these days. Our defense is a beast. We’re leading in a number of defensive categories. We have great length and these guys are committed to being the best defense in the NBA. That’s carrying us. Our offense is a work in progress. It can get clicking and we can get really hot at times. When it does, what happened tonight happens. We’re trying to commit to the running game more. We had 19 fast break points in the first half. We’re playing good basketball.”
(On holding opponents under 100 points) “The point total is not as important as limiting them from the three-point line, limiting their points in the paint and limiting their field goal percentage. Those are the things that are making our defense special this year. It was no different tonight.”
(On the team’s rebounding) “David (West) and myself, and even the guards, get in there and mix it up. Paul George has been doing a good job of getting in there and getting boards. We create more possessions for ourselves and we’re pretty good at it.”
(On his defense) “I told the guys if they get beat off the dribble, don’t just grab them and foul them because nine times out of ten I’ll be there. Most of the time I’ll get a block straight up or I’ll get a foul on myself. That comes with being a big man, but I want to be the best defensive big man in the league.”
(On winning five of the last six games) “We’re just trying to be solid, play good defense and win on the road because we’ve had trouble with that this season. We’re doing the best that we can and we’re very focused. This one was tough at first, but we pulled it out.”
(On the team’s defense) “We’ve established ourselves defensively and I think we’re taking pride in that. We’re to the point where if we lose a game, we’re trying to bounce back quickly.”
(On the team’s rebounding) “We take pride in it and we’ve got length. Roy (Hibbert) is a really good rebounder and Ian (Mahinmi), two great guys who can rebound. (David) West did a really good job. We’re physical and we even have wings like Paul George who can really get rebounds.”