CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Tyler Hansbrough had a season-high 22 points and nine rebounds as the Indiana Pacers continued their dominance of the Charlotte Bobcats with a 102-88 victory Wednesday night.
The Pacers have now beaten the Bobcats nine time straight times, including twice this week. This game was much closer than the 35-point rout Sunday in Indianapolis — at least for three quarters.
The Pacers led by 10 after three quarters but began to pull away in the fourth. Danny Granger had 12 points and A.J. Price, Paul George, Dahntay Jones and Darren Collison also scored in double digits.
Lou Amundson had a season-high 11 rebounds as the Pacers won for their fourth game in a row to remain in second place in the Central Division at 21-12 overall.
Corey Maggette scored 20 points and D.J. Augustin had 15 for the Bobcats, who've lost 18 of their last 19 games.
The Bobcats got an encouraging game from rookie center Bismack Biyombo, who finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots.
But the Pacers were again simply too much for Charlotte.
In what's been a repetitive theme this season for the Bobcats, they were manhandled on the boards and outscored in the paint.
If didn't hurt that the Pacers made 27 of their first 30 free throw attempts.
On Sunday, the Pacers jumped out to a 21-2 lead against the Bobcats and never let up beating them inside the paint.
The Bobcats seemed determined not to let that happen again. Charlotte ran out to a 19-10 lead before the Pacers began to chip away.
Indiana went on a 12-2 run to close the first half and take a 50-42 lead at the break behind 12 points from Hansbrough.
Before the game, Pacers coach Frank Vogel said he liked the way his guys were playing as a team and it showed again as they used a balanced scoring attack to get the victory.
Hansbrough, who played his college basketball a couple of hours up the road at North Carolina, seemed to relish his homecoming game, jumping out to a quick start and giving the Pacers the lift they needed early on with some strong inside play and some nice mid-range jump shots.
Hansbrough's previous high this season was 17 points.
The Bobcats enter the All-Star break with a 4-28 record, by far the worst in the NBA. If there's some consolation, they expect to get Gerald Henderson back on the court next week. Henderson has sat out the last three weeks with a strained hamstring.
Coach Paul Silas has said once everyone returns to the lineup his team will be competitive.