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Charlotte Hornets win 3rd straight, beat banged-up Indiana Pacers

Apr 2, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Aaron Holiday (3) shoots the ball while Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington (25) defends in the second quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Aaron Holiday (3) shoots the ball while Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington (25) defends in the second quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Miles Bridges scored 23 points off the bench and ignited a strong stretch late in the first half as the visiting Charlotte Hornets topped the Indiana Pacers 114-97 on Friday night in Indianapolis.

Cody Zeller supplied 17 points off the bench, Terry Rozier added 15 points and Gordon Hayward, who didn’t play in the second half, P.J. Washington and Brad Wanamaker each had 13 points for Charlotte.

Caris LeVert’s 16 points led the Pacers, who have lost three games in a row. Doug McDermott posted 13 points and T.J. McConnell and Aaron Holiday had 12 points apiece for Indiana, which shot 30.3 percent on 3-pointers and committed 20 turnovers.

By the end, Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis was out with an ailment despite pulling in 10 rebounds.

Hayward sat out the second half with an injury after compiling eight rebounds and six assists. Bridges shot 8-for-12 from the field and Zeller made all seven of his attempts from the floor.

Charlotte improved to 2-1 on the first part of a six-game road stretch.

The game was tied at 44-44 when Bridges began his outburst with 11 points across the final 3 1/2 minutes of the first half. That sent the Hornets to a 60-49 halftime lead.

Bridges was 4-for-5 on first-half 3s, with the rest of the Hornets a combined 1-for-13.

Shortly before that, McDermott, who torched the Hornets in a January victory, helped lead a second-quarter charge with seven points for the Pacers.

Charlotte had a chance to take total command, but missed six of its last eight free throws in the third quarter.

McDermott hit a 3-pointer with less than six minutes remaining to draw the Pacers within 97-91. Charlotte tallied the next six points.

The Hornets, who had a horrible opening stretch a night earlier in a blowout loss at Brooklyn, were solid in the first quarter on the way to a 28-24 lead behind Hayward’s 12 points. Still, Charlotte shot 1-for-8 on 3-pointers in the first quarter.

–Field Level Media