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Charlotte can’t keep pace with Indiana, lose 105-96

A back and forth game ultimately slips away from the Hornets.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

In a largely back and forth game, the Indiana Pacers managed to pull away from the Charlotte Hornets, 106-95, Monday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Hornets had the game tied after the first quarter, trailed by one at halftime, and were down three after the third before the Pacers managed to push Charlotte to the side thanks in large part to stifling the Hornet’s offense in the fourth.

Charlotte managed just 18 points in the fourth and made six shots from the floor to close the game out. Indiana, thanks in large part to Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner scoring 25 and 22 points respectively, was able to push their slim, single-digit lead heading into the fourth to a daunting 14-point cushion in the final frame.

Dwight Howard was Charlotte’s leading man tonight with 22 points and 11 rebounds, but he was largely absent from the game in the second half, only scoring four points after halftime. In a game that was neck-and-neck well into the fourth quarter, it’s disappointing that Howard wasn’t given the ball more when he clearly had it going tonight.

Not to be outdone, Nicolas Batum also scored 22 points in one of his better efforts of the season and hit 5-of-10 3-pointers. Kemba Walker was Kemba Walker with a team-high 23 points including three 3-pointers and hitting 6-of-7 free throw attempts.

But that’s where the scoring stopped for all intents and purposes. Marvin Williams (who left the game after rolling his ankle in the fourth quarter), Frank Kaminsky, Michael Carter-Williams and Treveon Graham each only made one basket; Johnny O’Bryant was two of three, but his efficiency was largely negated by picking up four fouls in 10 minutes; and Jeremy Lamb was held to eight points and missed all his three point and free throw attempts Monday night.

More than half of Indiana’s points came in the paint which is frustrating. Even more frustrating considering Charlotte would out-rebound Indiana and Dwight Howard’s aforementioned success in the first half. The ball stopped coming Howard’s way and instead went to Myles Turner’s obliging arms.

Moving forward, Charlotte has Tuesday night off before wrapping up a three-game road trip in Atlanta. Charlotte’s looking to avoid an 0-3 record on the road trip.