Watson's shooting lifts Pacers over Bobcats 99-74
C.J. Watson knocked down five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with a game-high 18 points as the Indiana Pacers defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 99-74 Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.
The Pacers (14-1) came in with the NBA's best defense and limited the Bobcats to 31 percent shooting.
Watson, who had made just 6 of 29 3-pointers this season, was 6 of 8 against the Bobcats.
Lance Stephenson had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Roy Hibbert added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers. Paul George had 15 points to surpass 3,000 for his career.
Al Jefferson had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats, who have lost six of their last seven at home.
The Pacers held Charlotte's leading scorers Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson to a combined 6 of 32 from the field. Walker finished with 15 points.
Indiana led 60-52 entering the fourth quarter despite shooting just 28 percent from the field.
That's when Watson caught fire.
Watson knocked down three 3-pointers in the opening three minutes to help push the lead to 12.
His fourth 3-pointer helped stretch the lead to 17 with 6:45 left in the game. The Pacers would make it a 20-point game with the help of Stephenson, who scored nine points in the fourth quarter.
It was a rough night offensively for the Bobcats (7-9), who had more fouls (27) than field goals (26).
The Pacers set the tone early, holding the Bobcats to 4 of 22 shooting from the field in the first quarter to jump out to a 22-11 lead.
Charlotte would hang tough and cut the lead to five at the break behind 10 first half points for Jefferson, who was able to challenge Hibbert in the low post. Jefferson's presence helped minimize the effects of Henderson and Walker, who struggled to find their stroke and were a combined 3 of 16 from the field in the first half.
George entered the game averaging 26.8 points over the previous four games and had 12 points at halftime. But he picked up his third and fourth fouls in the opening two minutes of the second half, forcing him to the bench.
Watson was more than ready to step up.
The Pacers have only allowed 100 points once this season, that coming in a 110-94 loss to Chicago earlier this month.
NOTES: George has scored in double figures in every game this season. ... The Pacers have won four of their last five games against the Bobcats. ... Walker was 3 of 17 from the field and Henderson was 3 of 15.
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