Myles Turner scored 16 points and Thaddeus Young added 11 points and eight rebounds on Monday night, helping the Indiana Pacers hold on for a 99-90 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
The Pacers have won six straight – all without two-time All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, who will miss the rest of the season with an injured right knee.
Kemba Walker scored 26 of his 34 points in the second half, when the Hornets stormed back from a 16-point halftime deficit. Jeremy Lamb added 21, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Charlotte from losing for the third time in four games.
Walker’s second-half scoring flurry sure made it interesting, though.
Indiana led by as much as 20 points at 39-19 early in the second quarter and still was ahead 54-38 at halftime.
Then, Walker finally got started. He scored half of the Hornets’ points in a 10-3 spurt to open the third quarter, made three consecutive free throws to get Charlotte within seven at 64-57 and knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 72-71 with 1:02 left in the third.
But Indiana closed out the quarter with back-to-back baskets from Turner and Darren Collison, opened the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run to rebuild an 85-71 lead with 8:48 to play and closed out the victory when new guard Wesley Matthews knocked down a long 3 before the shot-clock expired and Turner’s basket made it 94-82.
▪ Walker has topped the 30-point mark in five consecutive games. He also had nine rebounds.
▪ Cody Zeller had 18 points and nine rebounds in his return to Indiana.
▪ Tony Parker sat out with a sprained back.
▪ The Hornets are 8-20 on the road this season and lost the season series to the Pacers 2-1
▪ The Hornets were 25 of 33 on free throws, 7 of 40 on 3s and shot a season-low 32.2 percent from the field.
▪ Coach Nate McMillan, a former N.C. State star, moved within three wins of matching Isiah Thomas for No. 6 on the career victory list (131) in the Pacers’ NBA franchise history.
▪ Bojan Bogdanovic had 14 points, while Thaddeus Young had 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
▪ The Hornets hope to extend a 13-game winning streak over the Magic when they visit Orlando on Thursday.