Pacers 99, Bobcats 74

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Reserve guard C.J. Watson scored 18 points on six 3-pointers, and the Indiana Pacers flexed their defensive muscles en route to a 99-74 victory over the CHARLOTTE Bobcats on Wednesday night.

Watson hit his first six treys before finally missing late in the fourth quarter.

The Pacers, who came into the game leading the NBA in scoring defense and opponents' field-goal percentage, held CHARLOTTE to 31.3 percent shooting.

The Pacers weren't a whole lot better offensively, finishing at 38.1 percent shooting with 16 turnovers, but they erupted for 39 fourth-quarter points.

The victory was Indiana's fifth straight, and the Pacers moved to 14-1, the best start in franchise history. CHARLOTTE fell to 7-9 and continued to struggle at Time Warner Cable Arena, losing for the seventh time in its last eight home games.

Forward Paul George and guard Lance Stephenson added 15 points each for Indiana, and Roy Hibbert had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Center Al Jefferson led CHARLOTTE with 16 points and nine rebounds., Guard Kemba Walker scored 15 but was 3 of 17 from the field, and guard Gerald Henderson had 10 points but was 3 of 15 from the field.

The Pacers set the tone quickly in pulling out to a 22-11 lead after one quarter. The Bobcats were just 4 of 22 from the field in the period, 18.2 percent, with Walker and Henderson going a combined 1 of 10.

Indiana then led by as many as 12 in the second quarter before settling for a 43-38 halftime lead. Indiana led 60-52 going into the fourth quarter. The lead then grew to as many as 25 in the fourth quarter.

NOTES: The Pacers' 9-0 start this season was the best start in franchise history, and also the longest winning streak in franchise history. ... Pacers F Paul George came into Wednesday's game nine points away from reaching 3,000 in his career, while G George Hill was 10 points away from reaching the 4,000-point milestone. ... George came into the game ranked fifth in the NBA in scoring at 24.3. ... The Bobcats had lost five of their previous six home games prior to Wednesday. ... The Pacers led the league in scoring defense at 87.4 entering the game and were holding opponents to a league-worst 39.2 percent shooting from the field. The Bobcats ranked third in scoring defense at 91.9. ... Pacers F Danny Granger (strained left calf) and Bobcats C Brendan Haywood (stress fracture left foot) remain out indefinitely. Neither has played in the regular season. ... G Kemba Walker led the Bobcats in scoring entering Wednesday's game at 16.5 points per game and was coming off a 28-point performance against Boston. ... The Pacers' only loss of the season came at Chicago on Nov. 16. ... The Bobcats host Milwaukee on Friday. ... The Pacers return home to face Washington on Friday, then begin a five-game Western trip with games at the Clippers, Portland, Utah, San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

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