INDIANAPOLIS — Domantas Sabonis had 14 points, 21 rebounds and nine assists, and the short-handed Indiana Pacers routed the Charlotte Hornets 144-117 in the Eastern Conference’s first play-in game.
Led by Sabonis and Doug McDermott, who scored 16 of his 21 points in the first quarter, the ninth-seeded Pacers snapped a franchise-worst nine-game losing streak in the postseason.
They also moved within one victory of making a sixth consecutive playoff appearance.
Charlotte was led by Miles Bridges with 18 points. The Hornets finished the season with six straight losses.
"They bullied us," Bridges said. "They played like they wanted to be in the playoffs, we didn't."
The loss gives the Charlotte seven in their final eight games played.
Veteran F Gordon Hayward was out of action since April 2 with a foot sprain.
The team also had stretches without Bridges, LaMelo Ball, Malik Monk and Devonte' Graham.
Charlotte finished the shortened regular season with a record of 33-39.
"More than anything I'm really proud of them," coach James Borrego said. "And I shared them with them right now. Nobody has any clue of what we went through as a group this year."
Off the Clock with Carboni is a weekly, in-depth, inside look at Charlotte sports, including the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, and more, hosted by WCNC Sports Director Nick Carboni.
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