Indiana Pacers vs Charlotte Hornets: Lineups, preview & prediction 4/8/18
The Indiana Pacers are all but locked into the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference as they head into Sunday’s matinee versus the Charlotte Hornets.
Indiana (47-33) are out of the running for the No. 3 seed since they are 2.5 games behind Philadelphia with two games remaining. Their chances for catching the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Central Division title were all but vanquished Friday night with a 92-73 setback at Toronto as they remained two games behind the Cavaliers.
The only way Indiana can win the division title is if they win their final two games and Cleveland lose their final two since the Pacers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker after winning the season series 3-1.
Almost everyone on the Pacers endured a rough night offensively as they shot a season-low 29.9 percent. Reserves Glenn Robinson III and Trevor Booker were the only players in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively, as coach Nate McMillan waved the white flag early after a 9-0 run by the Raptors in the third quarter created a 20-point deficit.
Charlotte (35-45) took out the frustrations of a four-game losing streak out at Orlando on Friday night, ending that skid in emphatic fashion with a 135-100 trouncing of the Magic. Rookie Malik Monk continued his strong stretch of play with a season-high 26 points and Frank Kaminsky added 21 off the bench as the Hornets made 17 3-pointers and shot 55.8 percent.
Despite falling out of playoff contention, there have been points where Charlotte’s offensive has sizzled. Friday’s victory marked the fifth time in nine games the Hornets have scored at least 110 points and the third time they have scored over 135 in that span.