Charlotte, NC – Former Bobcat D.J. Augustin missed a buzzer- beating 3-pointer for Indiana as time expired, and Charlotte held on to a 90-89 victory over the Pacers in its first game of the season.
Charlotte's top draft choice in 2011, Kemba Walker, led all scorers with a career-high 30 points, while Gerald Henderson poured in 18 points to get the Mike Dunlap era headed in the right direction.
Dunlap became the fifth coach in Bobcats' history when he was hired in the offseason. He notched his first career NBA coaching win on Friday with the Bobcats, who snapped a 23-game losing streak dating back to last season.
"The most important thing was to kill the elephant and that elephant was that losing streak and get that off everybody's back," Dunlap said. "It's just one of those marks you want to clean off the board."
Offseason acquisitions Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions each gave solid contributions off the bench for Charlotte. Gordon finished with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, while Sessions added 11 points and four assists in the victory.
David West, whose layup cut Charlotte's lead to one with just over two minutes to play, finished with 14 points and six rebounds for Indiana. The Pacers, however, didn't score another point as the Bobcats' defense forced three turnovers in the waning minutes of the game.
Tyler Hansbrough and Lance Stephenson scored 15 points apiece off the bench to lead the Pacers, who defeated the Toronto Raptors in their season opener.
Walker contributed 16 of his points in the first half and capped his 12-point second quarter with a layup that cut the Pacers' lead to 43-39 at halftime.
The second-year guard struggled in the fourth, however, shooting just 1-of-8 in the final period.
Charlotte took the lead with just under 10 minutes left in third quarter following a Henderson 3-pointer and maintained its advantage throughout the rest of the game, leading by as many eight.
The Pacers cut the Bobcats' advantage to one three times in the fourth quarter, but did not come any closer. With just under six minutes to play, Roy Hibbert tipped in a Gerald Green missed 3-pointer, making it an 85-84 game.
West's layup with 2:01 remaining made it 90-89, but neither team scored again.
Indiana had a chance to win the game on the final possession, and Augustin got a good look. His 3-point attempt fell short, however, and the Bobcats held on for the victory.
"I just think we turned the ball over the last five minutes," Hibbert said. "It's disheartening. We have to learn from it."
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the second overall draft pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, struggled in his debut with the Bobcats. He shot just 1-of-7 from the field and scored just two points in less than 20 minutes of play.
The Bobcats shot 36.5 percent from the field compared to the Pacers' 39.8 percent ... The Pacers had seven of their 19 turnovers in the fourth quarter ... Indiana's Paul George contributed 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the loss ... The Bobcats will play at Dallas on Saturday, while the Pacers will head home to face the Sacramento Kings.