Pacers Defeat Hornets 115-99 Despite Miller’s Career-High 35 Points

Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets, NBA News, Indiana Pacers
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Pascal Siakam shone with 25 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 115-99 victory over the Charlotte Hornets during Sunday’s NBA action, breaking a three-game losing streak.

Siakam’s performance was particularly notable as he continues to settle into his role following a trade from the Toronto Raptors on January 17, emphasizing his adjustment to balancing personal playstyle with team dynamics.

“Just figuring out that balance and being who I am as a player and also fitting in with the team,” Siakam said. “Sometimes I can be trying so hard to make sure everything is right and it can take away from who I am. So everyone is just telling me to be me.”

The Pacers, now 28-23, demonstrated defensive prowess by limiting the Hornets to 39.8% shooting from the field and 27.6% from three-point range. Aaron Nesmith contributed significantly with 22 points, while Myles Turner posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Despite a minute restriction due to a hamstring issue, Tyrese Haliburton scored 17 points in 20 minutes, showcasing his skill and importance to the team.

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle highlighted Nembhard as a strategic choice to start him for the team’s structure, even though he didn’t score. His contribution was noted for the flexibility it provided the team.

“That is something we thought made sense really for this game and potentially the next few, we’ll see,” Carlisle said. “He gives us flexibility, and it makes the ecosystem of our roster work better, so that was good.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets, Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers Updates

The Hornets’ rookie Brandon Miller had a standout game with a career-high 35 points, including five 3-pointers on 10-25 shooting and 10-12 from the free-throw line. Despite his efforts and P.J. Washington’s 22 points, the Hornets, now 10-38, extended their losing streak to seven games.

“You know we have guys out, so everybody has to step up,” Miller said. “So I think just stepping up being more aggressive coming out with the energy that we need to win a ballgame, that’s important for us.”

The Pacers capitalized on the Hornets’ absences, including LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward among others, starting strong with a 26-13 lead by the end of the first quarter. Indiana’s dominance continued, leading by as much as 24 points in the third quarter.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets, Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers Updates

Charlotte tried to rally back in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 10 points behind Miller’s second-half surge. However, Indiana quickly regained control, with Nesmith’s steal and dunk highlighting the Pacers’ ability to secure a comprehensive win.

Haliburton praised Miller’s potential and adaptability in the face of the Hornets’ injury challenges, noting his growth and the additional responsibilities he’s undertaken.

“He’s going to be really good,” Haliburton said of Miller. “He listens, and you can see the improvement. … With a lot of their guys hurt, it has been kind of baptism by fire for him. He’s being looked at to do more than if everyone were healthy.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets, Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers Updates

Hornets coach Steve Clifford and Miller acknowledged the rookie’s hard work and improvement, emphasizing the need for aggression and teamwork to overcome the team’s challenges.

“He works hard, he’s very diligent, and that’s the way it works,” Clifford said. “He’s got a lot of talent, he works hard, so he gets better. He’s getting better for the right reasons. He’s being double teamed now and he did a good job against that, passing out of it.”

The Pacers are set to host the Houston Rockets next, while the Hornets face the Los Angeles Lakers in a back-to-back matchup.

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