Recap: Hornets rally from 21 point deficit to defeat Pacers, 115-109

Mar 21, 2023 - 10:00 AM
Indiana Pacers v <a href=Charlotte Hornets" src="" />
Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Kelly Oubre (28), Terry Rozier (23), and Gordon Hayward (22) combined for 73 points as the Charlotte Hornets rallied from a 21-point second quarter deficit to take down the Indiana Pacers, 115-109.

The Hornets took a couple of minutes to get on the board, but they got there with a free throw line jumper by Kelly Oubre. He hit that and a corner three to account for all of the Hornets scoring while the Pacers jumped out to an early lead. The Hornets repeatedly put Myles Turner on the line and let him get some freebies at the rim. The Pacers made 75% of their field goal attempts and shot 16 (!!!) free throws in the first quarter alone. The Hornets got a ton of shots up but couldn’t make enough of them to keep pace. After one, the Hornets trailed by 18.

The Pacers grew the lead to as large as 21 through the early parts on the second quarter before the Hornets started to creep back into the game. Terry Rozier got assaulted on a couple of jumpers and made all five of the ensuing free throws. Kelly Oubre relentlessly attacked the basket, scored in the paint, and got himself to the free throw line as well. The Hornets were able to cut the deficit all the way down to eight by halftime.

A Rozier three and Oubre steal-and-slam brought the Hornets within four early in the third. Oubre tied the game about halfway through the third on a quarter three fed to him by Rozier. Gordon Hayward found JT Thor in that same corner to briefly give the Hornets a one point lead. The two teams traded the lead back and forth a couple of times until the Pacers took a narrow three point lead into the fourth quarter.

Svi Mykhailiuk hit another three from that corner, this time from Dennis Smith Jr. after an offensive rebound, to tie the game up once more. The Hornets seemingly ran out of gas after that as the Pacers restored their lead back to nine points. The Hornets put the clamps on after that. The Pacers continued to attack the basket, but the Hornets contested every shot and forced a bunch of missed layups. Six straight Pacers misses helped the Hornets build momentum as they went on a run to retake the lead on a Gordon Hayward three. It ended up a 13-0 run with the Pacers going five minutes without a point. Hayward hit what turned out to be the dagger with an and-1 in the lane then sealed the deal with free throws as the Hornets took the win.

Nick Richards dominated the glass outside of the first quarter and put up a stat line reminiscent of his breakout performances early in the season. He finished with 14 points and 17 rebounds, and his interior defense in the fourth quarter was a big part of the rally that ultimately led to the win.

It was an overall solid performance for the Hornets, who will have another two days off before traveling to New Orleans to take on the Pelicans.

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