The Hornets came out of the gate strong and jumped out to an early 12-3 lead thanks to strong play on both ends of the floor. They eventually let up on the defensive end and let the Pacers get rolling. The Pacers made 13 of their first 18 shots and scored 30 points by the three minute mark of the first. Miles Bridges spurred the Hornets offense with 12 early points and played with a noticeably higher level of confidence and aggression than we had seen prior to the last couple of games. After one, the Hornets trailed 36-33.
Both offenses stayed hot into the second quarter. The Hornets got some much needed 3-pointers from Kelly Oubre while James Bouknight showcased his ability to get into the paint with ease. Meanwhile they continued to struggle to contain the Pacers in the paint. At one point midway through the second quarter, the Pacers had as many offensive rebounds as the Hornets did defensive rebounds. Even with the efficient offense, the game disjointed and clunky with a very whistle happy officiating crew that put both teams into the bonus within just a few minutes. The teams were called for 32 first half fouls, and either in spite of or due to that fact, both teams put up huge scoring numbers. At the break, the Hornets led 71-70.
The Hornets started the second half with a strong 15-2 run largely composed of tough, self created shots on offense. That helped them build a comfortable lead, which helped them withstand a stretch where the Pacers rebounded just about every shot they missed. LaMelo Ball helped the Hornets keep pace with eight straight during a stretch that included a 4-point play, one of two Hornets 4-point play opportunities in the quarter. The Hornets lead was as large as 22 at one point. The Pacers made a run to cut into the deficit, but the Hornets answered and took a 19 point lead into the fourth quarter. The 113 points the Hornets scored to that point was a franchise record for points through three quarters.
LaMelo Ball and Kelly Oubre scored 11 really quick points to start the fourth quarter to set themselves up for a comfortable finish. The only real drama from that point forward was what kind of records the Hornets could set. Kelly Oubre did the thing again and got scorching hot from three, hitting five in the fourth quarter and ten in the game, part of a Hornets record 39 points off the bench. Ball got his triple double. The Hornets made nine 3-pointers as a team in the quarter and hit 148 points by the time the main rotation players left the game with just under five minutes to play. Kai Jones hit his first career 3-pointer to set the Hornets final score at 158 points, the most by any team in the league this season.
The Bally Sports Southeast flashed all the records the Hornets broke tonight:
Points in a half: 87
Points through three quarters: 113
Points in a game: 158
Points off the bench: 39 (Kelly Oubre)
3-pointers made off the benc: 10 (also Oubre)
Ball finished with 29 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds. Miles Bridges scored 22 points on just 10 shots and Rozier chipped in 20 points of his own.
The Hornets will try to carry this momentum to a Friday night showdown with the Lakers on ESPN.