Led by yet another all-star performance from center Al Jefferson who piled up 34 points and eight boards, the Bobcats jumped all over Indiana from the opening tip.
The Pacers, one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, got a taste of their own medicine as Charlotte held them to a franchise low eight points in the first quarter. Charlotte led by 20 points after the opening period and would never trail in the ball game.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist who is coming off of a historic night in Miami, either has amnesia or used Lebron James' 61 point game as motivation because he absolutely locked Paul George up defensively.
George who averages 22.7 points per game was held to two points on 0-9 shooting, the first time in his career he has done that in an NBA game. "MKG is our best on ball defender and tonight he accepted the challenge of taking on one of the best young players in the league and had some success," Jefferson said after the game.
Charlotte also benefited from the emergence of Kemba Walker who has been mired in a mini-slump since being named Eastern Conference player of the week. He pumped in 19 points to go along with nine assists and his energy from the outset was infectious.
"Coach keeps telling me to be aggressive and make sure my teammates follow my lead and tonight I wanted to come out and do just that and it paid off," Walker said. It paid off indeed as six Bobcats finished the game in double-figure scoring.
Charlotte is aware that the Pacers are a team that they could very easily face in the first round of the playoffs and Jefferson took it upon himself to send a message to them and the rest of the league. "We want people to know that this ain't the same old Bobcats," Jefferson continued "you not just gonna look at the schedule and think you can take the night off cause we compete every night".
The Bobcats will host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night before a quick trip to Memphis to wrestle with the Grizzles on Saturday.
The Pacers will continue their three-game road trip with stops in Houston on Friday and Dallas on Sunday. The loss to the Bobcats shrinks Indiana's lead over the Heat to 1 1/2 games for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.