Attitude Adjustment: Indiana Pacers Ride Huge 2nd Half to Stuff Bobcats, 99-77
It wasn't all Indiana as the Bobcats won the first half of this game. Early on the Pacers struggled defensively and allowed the Bobcats access to numerous wide-open shots and early layups.
D.J. Augustin (20 points, seven rebounds) took advantage of the Pacers' shaky defense early and led the way for the Bobcats to take a 49-43 lead into halftime.
The Pacers looked tired in the first half. They were forced into tough shots, and Danny Granger went down with a sprained ankle. While Granger would later return, the Pacers needed some help as they went into halftime.
Almost immediately, the Pacers came out rejuvenated. The Pacers went on a 10-2 run to start the half and outscored the Bobcats 28-14 in the third quarter.
With a 71-63 lead, the Pacers went into the fourth looking to continue their domination. They did just that and the frustration boiled over for the Bobcats. A minute and 10 seconds into the fourth quarter, Gerald Henderson (14 points, eight rebounds) was called for a technical foul when he slammed George Hill to the ground.
A few plays later he would be called for an offensive foul, showing his frustration towards George Hill. Henderson would be benched at this point and would not return. Neither would the Bobcats, as the Pacers never relented and closed out the victory in spectacular fashion with an A.J. Price to Paul George alley-oop slam in the final seconds of the game.
The Pacers' top scorer on the night was Roy Hibbert (20 points, eight rebounds). Like Granger, Hibbert went down with what initially appeared to be a serious ankle injury, but he would return to action and contribute to a solid Pacer fourth quarter. There were several ankle injuries on the evening. Along with Hibbert and Granger, the Bobcats' D.J. White went down with an ankle injury as well.
In total six Pacers would finish the night in double-figure scoring, two coming off the bench, continuing the "total team" concept Frank Vogel has been pushing all season.
With tonight's victory, the Pacers improve to 6-2 on the season, their best start since the 2002-2003 season, and they are now 3-0 at home.
The Bobcats are now 2-6 and play the Knicks in New York on Monday night.
The Pacers' next matchup will be in Philadelphia on Monday night. They are in the middle of a seven-game stretch in 11 nights that will certainly test their resolve.
Coach Frank Vogel should be commended as the team that went into halftime losing came out with much more intensity and passion in the second half.
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