George pours in 39, Pacers flatten Hornets
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[March 16, 2017]
INDIANAPOLIS -- Paul George
prefers to keep the specifics "in house," but a spirited team
discussion after Tuesday night's loss to the New York Knicks in
Madison Square Garden laid the foundation for Wednesday night's
George scored a season-high 39 points, including 27 during the
second half, and Indiana pulled away from the Charlotte Hornets for
a 98-77 victory.
George made 15 of 21 field-goal attempts, including 6 of 10 from
3-point range. He left the game with 2:56 remaining.
Indiana, which has only seven remaining home games, improved to
35-33. Charlotte fell to 29-39.
"I am going to keep what was said in-house, but we had a great
talk," said George, who added five rebounds, three assists and three
steals against the Hornets. "Tonight, we showed more team spirit.
Tuesday night was a reality check against a team we should have
"We have to enjoy playing every night. For me, I felt good tonight
and just stayed in attack mode. I got into a good rhythm right
Monta Ellis added 16 points for the Pacers, who shot 53.4 percent
(39 of 73) and outrebounded the Hornets 39-27. Jeff Teague had 11
Frank Kaminsky led Charlotte with 20 points, Marco Belinelli added
11 and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 10. Kemba Walker was limited to
seven points on 3-of-11 shooting. The Hornets shot only 40 percent
(32 of 80).
"We were just being active," Teague said of how the Pacers shut down
Walker. "Myles Turner did a great job of being up front in pick and
rolls. We just tried to make him see bodies, and we did a good job
of that as a team. I think tonight was one of our best defensive
Indiana blew the game open with a 33-16 third quarter that included
a 15-0 run and 15 points from George on 6-of-9 shooting. The Pacers
led 75-58 through 36 minutes, making 11 of 17 field-goal attempts
during the pivotal third quarter.
"We talked about consistency," Indiana coach Nate McMillian said.
"The problem we have is that sometimes, we just lose focus. Tonight,
this team showed what they are capable of doing against a team that
has played us well the past couple of years.
"Tonight, our guys played hard and played the game the way it is
supposed to be played. Our defense was good, and Paul helped us
shoot the ball really well."
Indiana starters George, C.J. Miles and Teague were a collective 10
of 14 from the field in the third period. Charlotte was only 7 of 20
from the field in the third quarter and turned the ball over five
Through three quarters, George had 27 points, four rebounds, two
assists and three steals. No other Pacer scored in double figures
through 36 minutes.
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Pacers forward Paul George (13) calls out a play in the second half
of the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Bankers Life
Fieldhouse. Indiana Pacers beat the Charlotte Hornets
98-77.Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
"You could see it right from the beginning of the
game," Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said of George's best game
this season. "He had that look in his eye. He is a really good catch
and shoot guy, playing off screens. Once he got into a rhythm, it's
hard to stop him."
The game was tied at 42 at halftime with the Pacers getting 12
points from George, nine from Ellis and seven from Glenn Robinson
III. Indiana shot 48.7 percent in the opening half (19 of 39)
despite making only 3 of 13 from beyond the arc.
Charlotte got seven points each from Cody Zeller and Kaminsky during
first-half action but shot only 45 percent (18 of 40), including 1
of 9 from 3-point range.
"What happened in the third quarter all started with Paul George,"
Zeller said. "He had a big night, and he is capable of having big
nights. Recently, we have struggled on defense, and it has been
defense we have been relying on all season. We have to defend better
again if we expect to get more wind."
Indiana outrebounded the Hornets 20-16 during the first two
The Pacers led 24-22 through 12 minutes, making 11 of 20 field-goal
attempts and getting eight points from George. Belinelli came off
the bench for six first-quarter points for the Hornets.
NOTES: Indiana improved to 4-11 on the second night of a
back-to-back. ... The Pacers lost Tuesday night to the Knicks in New
York. ... Charlotte did not have a single offensive rebound in the
first three quarters. ... Hornets G Kemba Walker averaged 26 points
in his team's two victories against Indiana this season in
Charlotte, but he had only two points during the first half
Wednesday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. ... Indiana played
without F/C Lavoy Allen (sore left knee). ... Charlotte was without
G/F Nicolas Batum (migraine), C Johnny O'Bryant (right ankle
sprain), C Miles Plumlee (right calf sprain) and Ramon Sessions
(left knee surgery). ... With the Pacers' victory, the teams split
the four-game season series 2-2, each winning twice at home.
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