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Hornets rally in the fourth quarter to beat Pacers, 122-120

The headline really doesn’t do this game justice.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Charlotte Hornets Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Devonte’ Graham scored a career high 35 points off the bench and Bismack Biyombo dominated the fourth quarter as the Charlotte Hornets rallied from a 17 point deficit to beat the Indiana Pacers, 122-120.

The broadcast spent several minutes at the beginning of the game pointing out how explosive the Hornets have been in first quarters this season. They were anything but that tonight. They scored eight points in the game’s first seven minutes while allowing the Pacers to run up 25. The second unit injected some life into the game but didn’t help the scoreline at all. The Hornets missed all seven of their first quarter 3-point attempts and found themselves in a 15 point hole heading into the second.

Miles Bridges and Malik Monk threw down back to back dunks to open the second quarter, then Monk dropped a dime to Marvin Williams in the paint to give the Hornets six straight points. After a a few minutes of trading baskets, the Hornets exploded for a 20-5 run to cut the deficit down to four. The Pacers eventually made some buckets to stem the tide, but they couldn’t slow down the Hornets offense. The Hornets made their last ten shot attempts of the quarter, including a couple deep 3-pointers from Devonte’ Graham and grown man buckets from PJ Washington on the interior. At the half, the Hornets trailed by just seven.

The Hornets let the game slip away from them a bit in the third, falling behind by 12 points. A PJ Washington dunk and a pair of Miles Bridges 3-pointers on consecutive possessions pulled the Hornets back within four. A Pacers timeout was the cure. The Hornets missed thier next six shots as the Pacers jumped back ahead by double figures. After three, the Hornets trailed by 14.

The Hornets came out the fourth quarter gates on fire, and a Bismack Biyombo appearance was the catalyst. He hit a free throw after a nice dime from Terry Rozier. A couple possessions later, he came up with a huge block that spurred a transition layup plus the foul by Rozier. Then he did this:

The Pacers understandably took a timeout to process what they just witnessed, but it didn’t stop the Biz train from thundering down the tracks. Devonte’ Graham hit a 3-pointer off a crunching Biyombo screen then found the Congolese big man for a dunk. Terry Rozier made a technical free throw to tie the game then hit a three to give the Hornets the lead after Biyombo kept the possession alive with an offensive rebound. In all, it was a 19-2 run for the Hornets to start the fourth quarter.

But the Pacers are a professional basketball team. They hit several big shots to keep the game within reach. The Hornets had a two point lead late, but Malcolm Brogdon made a driving layup to tie the game up. The Hornets had a chance to win it, but Graham turned it over in the final seconds. Fortunately for the Hornets, the Pacers couldn’t get a good look at a game winning basket.

The teams traded baskets to open the overtime period. Devonte’ Graham drove the lane and hit a tough layup while getting fouled to tie the game. He hit the ensuing free throw to give the Hornets the lead. TJ Warren hit one of two free throws after Miles Bridges apparently fouled Warren with his face to tie the game back up. The Pacers followed a Hornets missed 3-pointer with a miss of their own and Devonte’ Graham made an unreal play grabbing the rebound. He hit both free throws. Cody Martin almost stole the ball from Brogdon as he prepped for a potential game tying shot, but the ball found Jeremy Lamb, who did what Jeremy Lamb does.

James Borrego drew up a brilliant inbounds play. Biz got an uncontested catch at the top of the key and handed the ball to Devonte’ Graham who drew a foul on a 3-point attempt. He hit the first two and then intentionally missed the third to run out the clock.

James Borrego used a lineup of Devonte’ Graham, Terry Rozier, Cody Martin, Miles Bridges, and Bismack Biyombo for the entire fourth quarter and overtime, and every single one of them delivered in one way or another. Martin only attempted two shots, but hauled in 11 rebounds and was a +27 in his 33 minutes. Rozier hit several big shots. Bridges, like Martin, made big plays on the defensive end of the floor. And Graham was the hero.

This was a huge win for the Hornets, and they’ll look to keep it rolling on national TV against the Boston Celtics on Thursday.