INDIANAPOLIS – With the Indiana Pacers (48-34) already locked into the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference postseason, Indy decided to rest up a bit on Tuesday. Three starters – Victor Oladipo, Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic – all sat for Tuesday’s matchup with the Charlotte Hornets (36-46).
With those key pieces missing in action, the Hornets ended Indiana’s regular season with a 119-93 loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
While we know the Pacers will be in fifth for the East playoffs, their first round opponent still remains a mystery. That will be decided on Wednesday. If the Philadelphia 76ers end their season with a win, the Blue and Gold will face the Cleveland Cavaliers. If the Sixers lose and the Cavs win their season finale, however, Indy will battle Philly.
It was obvious rather quickly what the Pacers’ goal for this ballgame was: get to the postseason healthy.
Indiana led early on in the first quarter, but Charlotte ultimately went in front and never trailed again.
The Hornets were up 37-25 after one and 63-55 at halftime. Charlotte was ahead by double-figures of the vast majority of the second half, cruising to an easy 26-point win to close out the year.
Other usual starters Myles Turner and Darren Collison played in this game, but at reduced minutes. Each played 21 minutes, with Turner finished with two points and Collison tied a Pacers-high with 13.
Among the reserves that got extra playing time, Glenn Robinson III led the way with 40 minutes. Robinson turned in 13 points and eight rebounds. Lance Stephenson started alongside Robinson on Tuesday, scoring nine points and pulling down 13 boards. T.J. Leaf shot the ball well off of the bench, also scoring 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
With a surprisingly stellar regular season in the books, the Pacers will now wait to see where and when they will go for the first round of the East playoffs.
Indiana will start on the road, with Game 1 presumably taking place on either Saturday or Sunday.