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Hornets offense catches fire in 133-126 win over Pacers

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Two huge nights by the Charlotte backcourt powers the Hornets past the Pacers.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

What’s more fun than an offensive explosion Wednesday night against the Hawks? How about a second barrage of points in as many games?

The Charlotte Hornets defeated the Indiana Pacers 133-126 Friday night in the Spectrum Center. Like Wednesday night in Atlanta, the name of the game tonight was offense and the Hornets had plenty of it to go around.

The scoring started early and boy did it ever happen often. The Hornets scored 49 points in the first quarter, yes first quarter not half, and hit around 80 percent of their shots in the frame. The 49 points is a franchise-record for points scored in any quarter, and a new NBA high for the season.

Looking at the first quarter box score feels down right dizzying. The Hornets hit 19 of 23 shots, made seven threes and had 12 assists. Nicolas Batum scored nearly an entire game’s worth of points in the quarter with 16 and hit three three-pointers. Frank Kaminsky had 11 points, Dwight Howard had 10 and, oh by the way, Kemba Walker had a mere eight points. It was, without a doubt, the prettiest quarter of basketball Charlotte’s played all season.

The second and third quarters saw Charlotte’s astronomical shooting percentages come back down to Earth. The Hornets scored 22 points in the second quarter and couldn’t hit 30 percent of their shots; in the third they bumped the scoring up to 25 points thanks in large part to Walker’s 15. But defensively, the Hornets allowed Indiana to close the margin to a mere five points.

Then Kemba Walker took over.

Walker played the entire fourth quarter and scored 13 points, giving him 28 for the second half and 41 for the entire game. Batum, meanwhile, scored 31 points and knocked down seven 3-pointers. All told, the duo finished shooting 22-of-40 from the floor, hit 12 3’s and made all 16 of their free throws. 72 points, 12 rebounds 11 assists combined. Thanks for playing.

Though Walker and Batum definitely deserve the lion’s share of the praise, give credit to the supporting cast. Teams don’t score 133 points on accident — everyone has to chip in and tonight that was the case. Dwight Howard finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds; Frank Kaminsky had 15 points; and Jeremy Lamb had 14 points in 21 minutes.

Charlotte next heads west, starting a four-game road trip Sunday against the Suns.