Indiana’s lone All Star Paul George led the team with 22 points, but it was Charlotte’s Kemba Walker that led all scorers with 25.
George will be making his third appearance in the All Star Game and second start.
“They just imposed their style of play,” George said. “They come out, they shoot threes, they spread the floor, and that’s something we’ve struggled against all year, with spread lineups.”
Charlotte shot 43 percent (12-of-28) from three-point range, and 52 percent from the field.
Indiana, on the other hand, shot just 22 percent (4-of-18) from deep and 43.5 percent overall.
Head coach Frank Vogel said he did not think his team was taking an early All Star break, they simply got outplayed.
“We got outplayed by a red-hot team, and a team that is playing with great confidence,” Vogel said of the Hornets who have now won three straight and five of their last six. “Quite frankly, right now it’s not a good matchup for us, as we’re transforming and we’re evolving.”
The Pacers have been using two big men on the floor at the same time, and Vogel said this game was part of the transitioning phase, especially teaching 19-year-old rookie Myles Turner.
Turner started off hot, with eight points in the first four minutes of the game, but finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
Charlotte’s bench outscored Indiana’s 54-33. Hornets head coach Steve Clifford said his bench has been improving from watching a lot of film.
“The challenge in this league is always, it’s never ‘are you talented enough,’ it’s ‘can you do it night after night?’,” Clifford said. “Those guys are good players and the better everyone can sustain good play, the better team we will become.”
George said it will be nice to take a break this weekend, as well as getting to talk to other players around the league.
“I’m looking forward to rubbing elbows with a lot of these guys,” George said.
Indiana is now sitting in 7th place in the Eastern Conference at 28-25, one game ahead of 9th place, and a game and a half behind 4th-place Miami. Charlotte’s recent surge has put them one game behind Indiana at 27-26, holding onto the final playoff spot.
Kyle Beery is the Indiana Pacers Beat Writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Indiana Pacers with full media access. You can follow @BeeryK and @IndySportsRep on Twitter.
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