Kemba's 41, fast start help Hornets beat Pacers 133-126
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 03, 2018 10:48 AM
Charlotte Hornets' Frank Kaminsky, back, and Kemba Walker celebrate during a timeout in the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
By Jodie Valade, Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 41 points on 11-for-22 shooting and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Indiana Pacers 133-126 with the help of a record-setting first quarter Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).
Buoyed by 16 points from Nicolas Batum, the Hornets scored 49 points in the first, a franchise-best for a quarter. Charlotte connected on 7-of-11 from three-point range and hit 19-of-23 from the field in that stretch. It marked the highest point total for an NBA team in any quarter this season.
Four other Hornets players scored in double-digits, led by Batum's 31 points and Dwight Howard's 12 points and 11 rebounds. Charlotte won its second game in a row.
Victor Oladipo had 35 points for the Pacers, who halted a three-game winning streak. Myles Turner added 19 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana.
Charlotte led 49-37 after the first, as the Pacers came within a point of matching the most first-quarter points by a Hornets opponent this season.
The Pacers outscored the Hornets 34-25 in the third quarter, led by 13 points from Oladipo, to narrow Charlotte's advantage to 96-91. Cory Joseph's free throws cut Indiana's deficit to 128-124 with 40 seconds left, but Charlotte hit five free throws after that to ice it.
Pacers: Indiana coach Nate McMillan missed the game for personal reasons. Longtime assistant Dan Burke served as acting head coach. ... Center Al Jefferson, who played for Charlotte 2013-16, received a loud ovation when he entered the game at the end of the second quarter.
Hornets: The 49-point first bettered a 47-point fourth quarter Charlotte had on Dec. 4, 1991 against the Los Angeles Lakers. ... Batum was 11-of-18 shooting. ... C Cody Zeller returned to the lineup after missing 27 games because of left knee surgery to repair torn meniscus. The Hornets were 12-15 without Zeller in that stretch. Zeller totaled five points and three rebounds in 16 minutes. ... Marvin Williams missed his second straight game with a left ankle sprain. Coach Steve Clifford said Williams is not expected to miss significant time. ... Dwight Howard's 11th consecutive double-double — the longest active streak in the NBA — was his 33rd of the season.
Pacers: Back home Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) to host Philadelphia for a quick two-game homestand.
Hornets: Travel to Phoenix on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) for the first of a four-game West Coast road trip.