Sabonis leads Pacers previous Hornets 144-117 within the play-in spherical – WISH-TV | Indianapolis Information | Indiana climate
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Domantas Sabonis had 14 points, 21 rebounds and nine assists, and the understaffed Indiana Pacers defeated the Charlotte Hornets 144-117 in the Eastern Conference’s first play-in game Tuesday night.
Led by Sabonis and Doug McDermott, who scored 16 of their 21 points in the first quarter, the Pacers posted a franchise worst loss in nine games, finishing ninth in the postseason. They were also moving within a win after making a sixth consecutive playoff appearance.
Indiana will visit the loser of the other play-in game No. 7 Boston versus No. 8 Washington on Thursday on Thursday.
It was Indiana’s first post-season win since beating Cleveland in April 2018. And the Pacers won that win despite losing striker Caris LeVert to the league’s health and safety protocol.
Charlotte was led by Miles Bridges with 18 points and former Indiana University star Cody Zeller with 17 points. The Hornets ended the season with six losses in a row.
The difference: Indiana’s playoff experience, which was evident from the start.
With McDermott in the lead, Indiana started 7-11 from 3-point range, hitting the Hornets continuously to lose balls and staying on defense ahead of Charlotte.
Indiana took the lead 23-9, extending the lead by 40:24 after one, 69:45 at halftime and 76:45 at the start of the third quarter. The hornets were never closed after the first few minutes.
The Pacers finished the 16-of-35 on 3s, shooting a total of 55.2% off the field.