INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Rodney Stuckey scored 15 points off the bench to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 93-74 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.
C.J. Watson had 13 points and four steals, and C.J. Miles added 12 points and six rebounds for the Pacers, who had lost two in a row.
Gerald Henderson had 12 points and seven rebounds, and Marvin Williams, Bismack Biyombo, and Lance Stephenson each finished with 10 points for the Hornets, who have lost five of their last seven.
Indiana and Charlotte are both making a push for the final spot in this year’s playoffs.
The Pacers used an 11-0 run late in the third quarter to pull away for good. Stuckey made a 3-pointer and Ian Mahinmi had a basket to give Indiana a 70-47 lead with under a minute remaining in the third.
Indiana has struggled since going on a season-best seven-game winning streak at the end of February and the first part of March — a stretch that gave the Pacers high hopes for a spot in the playoffs later this month.
Since then, the Pacers have dropped nine of 11 games before Indiana’s third win over the Hornets this season.
Against Charlotte, the Pacers looked like they had it figured out. After giving up 100 or more points in eight of the previous 10 games, Indiana gave up the fewest points of the season. Now the Pacers are a spot closer to landing in the postseason and hold the tiebreaker over the Hornets, who slip to No. 11 in the Eastern Conference.
Henderson scored to give the Hornets a 28-23 lead early in the second quarter. Then, the Pacers outscored the Hornets 26-10 to close out the half.
The Pacers used an 11-0 spurt midway through the quarter to take a lead and pull away.
Watson scored the go head layup to put Indiana ahead 34-33 and, later, Miles made a pair of free throws to give the Pacers a 43-33 lead with 4:03 left in the first half.
The Pacers led by as much as 12 in the first half when Lavoy Allen scored a put-back basket to make it 47-35.
Indiana led 49-38 at halftime.
Hornets: Charlotte’s nine points in the third quarter matched its season low for points scored in a quarter.
Pacers: The win was Frank Vogel’s 200th as a head coach. Vogel, in his fifth season at Indiana, has the most coaching wins in Pacers NBA franchise history.
Hornets: Host Philadelphia on Saturday.
Pacers: Host Miami on Sunday.
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