Indiana (48-33) saw their faint hopes of winning the Central division title evaporate on Monday night as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the New York Knicks. This result has locked the Pacers into the number five seed, meaning they will play either the Cavaliers or the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round, with the 76ers needing to win both their remaining games to secure the No. 3 seed since the Cavaliers hold the tiebreaker.
Indiana wrapped up their road schedule with a winning record after a 123-117 victory at Charlotte on Sunday. Domantas Sabonis scored a career-high 30 points off the bench and Lance Stephenson finished two points shy of a triple-double as the Pacers' reserves picked up the slack for the starting five and accounted for 72 points.
Indiana have won seven of their last nine overall and looking for their fourth straight home win over Charlotte. The Pacers have also won 15 of their last 17 at home versus the Hornets and own a 42-12 all-time record in Indianapolis against them.
The Hornets (35-46) need a win in this game to match last season's win total as they will miss the playoffs for the 11th time in 14 years. Rookie Malik Monk had 22 points and five assists off the bench as coach Steve Clifford has increased his minutes in recent games, but the Hornets struggled on both sides of the ball as they were outscored 56-42 in the paint and their 21 turnovers led to 23 points for the Pacers.