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Charlotte Hornets

Hornets use free throws, career-night from Devonte' Graham to fuel 19-point comeback win over Pacers in overtime

#Graham

In what was the League Pass game of the night, the Charlotte Hornets outlasted the visiting Indiana Pacers 122-120 in overtime.

The Hornets were led by second-year guard Devonte' Graham who finished with a career-high 35 points, six assists and four rebounds. Graham was aggressive all night helping Charlotte come back from down by as many as 19 points to secure the victory. His aggressiveness earned him multiple trips to the free-throw line where he was able to cash in on 11-for-15 from the stripe.

"We just kept saying it's a long game. We were down 17, almost 20 early, and we knew we just have to keep fighting and get stops," Graham said postgame. "I think it was too comfortable on offence, so we just had to ramp it up on defence."

The Hornets as a team enjoyed a 42-7 free throw attempt advantage, but the biggest call came near the end of the game when Graham was fouled on what was called a three-point attempt.

"I didn't think that was a foul," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said after the game. "Devonte' (Graham) was driving a lot tonight and initiating the contact, I didn't feel that was a foul at all.

"He got two calls tonight that our guys had their hands up. He is initiating the contact and he got the free throws on that. We did get a lot of fouls this game but I did not think that was a foul."

The 42 free throw attempts were a season-high for Charlotte. The Hornets franchise record for free throw attempts in a single game is 55 set against the Toronto Raptors on January 17, 2000, according to basketball-reference. It was later matched that same season against the Washington Wizards on February 5, 2000.

"Well, they were the aggressors, they were marching to the free-throw line," McMillan continued. "They shot 42 free throws tonight and we only shot 7 free throws.

"Offensively we had some opportunities and we didn't make plays. It comes down to making plays and getting stops and they did tonight."

The trips to the line were a positive sign for the Hornets as coming into Tuesday's overtime thriller, Charlotte ranked 29th in free throw attempts per game. Indiana, however, had been allowing opponents to get to the line 27.1 times through their first seven games good for 24th in the league.

Charlotte now turns their attention to the return of franchise icon Kemba Walker and the Boston Celtics on Thursday night. It's a date most in the Carolinas have circled on their calendar in what is expected to be an emotional night in the Queen City.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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