Oubre, Hornets finish strong, beat Pacers 115-109
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 28 points, and the Charlotte Hornets erased a 21-point first-half deficit to beat the Indiana Pacers 115-109 on Monday night behind a strong finish to snap a six-game home losing streak.
Terry Rozier added 23 points and Gordon Hayward had 22 for the Hornets, who outscored the Pacers 19-4 over the final six minutes to deal the Pacers' postseason hopes a big blow.
Nick Richards was strong in the second half for Charlotte, finishing with 14 points and 17 rebounds.
Myles Turner and Buddy Hield each had 20 points for the Pacers, who entered the night 1 1/2 games behind the Chicago Bulls for the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Hornets trailed 105-96 with 6:23 left in the game after Hield knocked down a 3-pointer.
But Svi Mykhailiuk's 3-pointer from the corner sparked a 13-0 Hornets run to put Charlotte in control as the Pacers were held scoreless for more than five minutes. Hayward's 3-pointer with 3:32 left put the Hornets ahead for good.
The Pacers (32-40) looked like they might blow out the Hornets early, bolting to a 40-22 lead behind Turner, who had 15 points in the first quarter on 9 of 9 shooting from the foul line.
The lead got as big as 21 in the second quarter, but the Hornets (23-50) battled back to take the lead in the third quarter when JT Thor buried a 3-pointer from the wing off an assist from Hayward.
While some NBA players have missed a game here or there for load management reasons, Hield has now played in all 72 games for the Pacers.
“He is very prideful about playing," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said before the game. “He hates missing games, plays hurt, and is very unique. He has a tremendous level of endurance, stamina, and he works at it. He’s also wired to love the game and he just loves to play.”
BALL IN THE FALL
Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball said he expects to return for training camp in the fall after undergoing season-ending surgery on his broken right ankle on March 1.
Ball, who has been limited to 36 games this season, said he isn't sure if he'll begin wearing ankle braces next season after spraining his left ankle three times this season prior to sustaining a season-ending fracture in the other ankle.
Pacers: Played without Tyrese Haliburton (right ankle sprain), Chris Duarte (left ankle soreness) and Kendall Brown (right tibia stress fracture). ... Bench outscored Charlotte's 45-18.
Hornets: Rookie center Mark Williams sat out his fifth straight game with a right thumb sprain, along with Ball and Cody Martin (left knee soreness).
Pacers: Continue four-game road trip at Toronto on Wednesday night.
Hornets: At New Orleans on Thursday night. ___
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Cal Reed, The Associated Press