The Hornets started the game better than they did last night, which was almost impossible not to do. They got a few shots to go down early, which surely helped to shake the jitters from the previous night’s performance. The only thing holding them back from a terrific offensive quarter was a turnover problem. Other than that, they played well on both ends. Gordon Hayward turned in a monster quarter with 12 points, six rebounds, and six assists. At the end of it, the Hornets led 28-24.
The Hornets couldn’t buy a bucket for the first few minutes of the second quarter, especially from deep. The only shots they could get to fall were in the paint, and even then they weren’t super efficient from there. Miles Bridges finally broke the seal for the team with four triples in quick succession as part of a 16-point quarter. The last of those was a contested turnaround at the halftime buzzer to put the Hornets up 60-49 at the break.
The Hornets started the second half with Gordon Hayward, who stayed in the locker room after awkwardly stepping on Myles Turner’s foot near the end of the half. Miles Bridges got the nod in his place.
The Hornets started the quarter well, but the offense predictably dried up for a spell given the players that were absent. Brad Wanamaker helped with a couple free throws and a bucket on his way to his first double digit scoring game as a Hornet. The Pacers started to get a little closer in part due to the Hornets missing five straight free throws in the later stages of the period. Terry Rozier snapped that slump with two made free throws before missing a third after he was fouled shooting a last second 3-pointer. The Hornets led 84-76 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Hornets looked like they might run away and hide in the fourth quarter, but TJ McConnell did some stuff and Doug McDermott made a three to narrow the lead to six and force a Hornets timeout. The timeout did wonders. The Hornets came out of it and went on a 17-2 spurt to put the game away. Miles Bridges put the exclamation point on the win with this monstrous throw down that essentially put the game away.
The deep reserves came in for the final minutes as the Hornets cruised to a win.
Bridges picked up the slack in the absence of other key Hornets and while Graham and Rozier struggled with their outside shots. He finished with a 23-point, 10-rebound double double. He was joined by six other Hornets in double figures.
No word yet on the severity of Hayward’s foot injury. Hopefully it’ll end up being a minor one.
Up next for the Hornets is a visit to the Boston Celtics for the first time this season.