By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Domantas Sabonis dominating on both ends of the court lifted the Indiana Pacers over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday.
Before the play-in game, Caris LeVert was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocol. Injured teammates Myles Turner, T.J. Warren, and Jeremy Lamb were sidelined as well. However, the Lithuanian big was all over the place with 14 points, 21 rebounds, and nine assists. He was influential in defense as well.
“Sometimes the defenses are throwing different things at me. I am just trying to get my guys open looks,” he said on NBA on TNT right after the win against the Hornets, “Sometimes, if they back off, that is when I have to be more aggressive and put some of the scoring on my shoulders.”
“I feel we have been playing better this month as a team. The ball has been moving, everybody is feeling it,” said Sabonis prior to learning the next opponent, which at the time was either the Wizards or the Boston Celtics, “To be honest, it just depends on us. How strong we come out in the next game.”
His team never trailed against the Hornets. “We were up 20 early and we just kept building the lead,” he pointed out.
Sabonis, 25, finished the 2020-21 Regular Season with 20.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.5 blocks per contest in what was arguably his best campaign yet in the NBA.
“I feel like is everybody is confident. It’s the highest it has been all year,” he mentioned on the current status of the Pacers, “Obviously, we wish we had it before. This is the perfect timing for us. It’s one game, anything can happen. We are just going to come out, keep playing team ball, and hope we are going to get this win.”
The Philadelphia 76ers, packing the home-court advantage provided by landing first place at the end of the Regular Season in the Eastern Conference, await the winner of Thursday’s play-in.
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