The Journal Gazette
 
 
Thursday, January 27, 2022 1:00 am

NBA

Pacers let Hornets set season's highest score

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS – Charlotte coach James Borrego gave his players a simple instruction Wednesday night.

Let it fly.

The Hornets didn't disappoint. They made 24 3-pointers, broke the franchise's single-game scoring record and produced the highest point total in the NBA this season with a 158-126 win over the Indiana Pacers.

“Tonight we we kind of got in that zone in the third quarter and we didn't look back,” said Kelly Oubre Jr., who scored a career-high 39 points and made a career-best 10 3-pointers. “None of us were going for numbers today. We just wanted to play hard.”

The numbers, though, were incredible. Oubre was 12 of 18 from the field and only missed five 3s. LaMelo Ball had his fourth triple double of the season with 29 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. In all, four Hornets players topped the 20-point mark as they tied a season-best from beyond the arc.

Charlotte also snapped a two-game losing streak and pulled off a four-game sweep of the injury-depleted Pacers, who eliminated the Hornets in the play-in round last season.

It was no surprise to Borrego.

“We were due for one of these games,” he said. “We just got rolling, one guy after another and just a great game offensively tonight and a great third quarter defensively. That's what turned the game.”

The Pacers, led by 17 points from both Goga Bitdaze and rookie Isaiah Jackson, lost their third straight.

“It happens, you've just got to keep going and playing tougher like we did on the West Coast,” Bitadze said. “It's hard. It's not like you're going to forget about it. You've got to use it as motivation.”

CAVALIERS 115, BUCKS 99: In Cleveland, Kevin Love scored 25 points, Cedi Osman added 23 and Cleveland beat the defending NBA champions.

The Cavs made 19 3-pointers, won for the eighth time in nine games and leap-frogged Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference standings. Darius Garland scored 19 and Evan Mobley had 16 for the Cavs.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 26 points, but had seven of Milwaukee's 19 turnovers that led to 31 points for Cleveland. Bobby Portis added 22 points and Khris Middleton 21 for the Bucks, who had their winning streak stopped at three. 

BULLS 111 RAPTORS 105: In Chicago, DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points, Zach LaVine added 23 and Chicago beat Toronto.

Nikola Vucevic also scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, helping the Bulls win consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 7.

Gary Trent Jr. led the Raptors with 32 points, while OG Anunoby added 23 points.

Trent scored 16 points in the third quarter, helping the Raptors trim their deficit to five. Anunoby hit a putback to bring Toronto within one in the fourth, eventually hammering home a dunk that gave the Raptors a 103-102 advantage with 3:11 remaining.

A LaVine layup and free throws from DeRozan pushed the Bulls back on top. Trent was then ejected after being called for his second technical. LaVine hit the technical free throw and Vucevic followed with a 3-pointer that sealed the victory for Chicago.


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