Hornets wrapup: Charlotte vs. Indiana Pacers

By Richard Walker

Notes and observations from Wednesday’s 116-106 Charlotte Hornets’ home loss to the Indiana Pacers that dropped Charlotte to 7-11 overall:

… Negative trends continue for the Hornets, who lost for the sixth time in seven games. Charlotte also has trailed after the first quarter of 12 of their 18 games, after the second quarter 12 times and after the third quarter 13 times. Charlotte is only 3-9 in the games in which they’ve trailed after the first and second quarters and 2-11 when they trail after the third quarter. “You’ve got to stick with it,” Charlotte coach James Borrego said of his team’s struggles. “You can’t give in. You have to think it’s going to turn around.”

… Indiana improved to 11-7 as Demontas Sabonis recorded the seventh triple-double of his career (22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists) and Doug McDermott came off the bench for 28 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter.

… Charlotte returned Cody Zeller to the starting lineup for the first time since his broke his left hand in the Dec. 23 season-opener at Cleveland. “It felt really good,” Zeller said. “Not the result we wanted but something to build on.”

… All five Hornets starters scored in double figures and another player off the bench did the same. Terry Rozier led the way with 20 points followed by P.J. Washington with 18, Gordon Hayward and Devonte’ Graham with 16 apiece and Cody Zeller 10. Zeller also had 14 rebounds. Miles Bridges (11 points) and LaMelo Ball (eight points, four rebounds, five assists) led the Hornets’ bench.

… Malik Monk played for only the fifth time this season and first time since Jan. 16 with seven points, one rebound and two assists in 14 minutes off the bench. Afterwards, he was confident he could be the player who turns Charlotte’s season around. “It’s all on me to take this pressure,” Monk said.

… Charlotte released its roster for the G-League Greensboro Swarm that will play in the “Orlando Bubble” this season. They include 2019 draft pick Jalen McDaniels and 2020 draft picks Vernon Carey, Jr., Nick Richards and Grant Riller. Other rostered players are Keandre Cook, Nate Darling, Joe DeLaurier, Ahmed Hill, Ray McCallum, K.J. McDaniels, Jeff Roberson, Admiral Schofield, Kobi Simmons, Xavier Sneed and Kahlil Whitney. “They’re going to have a great experience with (new Swarm) coach (Jay) Hernandez,” Borrego said.

… The NBA announced Charlotte’s postponed Jan. 20 home game against Washington has been rescheduled for Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. The previously scheduled Feb. 7 game against Portland will be played in the second half of the season; The NBA will announce the second half of the schedule next month.

What’s next: Charlotte continues a three-game home stand on Friday at 7 p.m. against the Indiana Pacers.