The 2021 NBA play-in tournament gets underway on Tuesday night with the No. 9 Indiana Pacers hosting the No. 10 Charlotte Hornets at 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT. The Pacers and Hornets will compete with the winner advancing to face the loser of the 7-8 game to see who gets the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. The winner of the Washington Wizards vs. Boston Celtics game will advance to the playoff as the 7-seed. The winner of Hornets-Pacers will face the loser of Wizards-Celtics on Thursday night.
Hornets vs. Pacers live updates
8:48 PM - The Pacers have closed out the Hornets in the first game of the play-in tournament 144-117. If you took the over, you’re a winner. If you took the Pacers to win the game on either the points spread or the money line, you’re a winner. If you followed Jovan’s advice on these player prop bets, you’re a big winner. McDermott, Justin Holiday and Terry Rozier made good on Jovan’s picks while PJ Washington came up one rebound short.
Overall, a great day for the Pacers and disappointing one for the Hornets. Indiana will face the loser of Boston-Washington to get into the playoff field while Charlotte goes to the lottery.
8:15 PM - The Pacers are up 108-78 on the Hornets at the end of the third quarter and have been dominating the entire contest. Indiana is 14-29 from behind the arc and has also outrebounded Charlotte 42-25. It’s been a disappointing game for LaMelo Ball. He’s 1-7 from the floor with five points in 21 minutes and is a -32 through three quarters.
8:05 PM - If you’ve continued watching this game, you deserve some recognition. The Pacers are up 89-60 with just over four minutes to play in the third quarter. McDermott has 20, Oshae Brissett has 19 points and Brogdon has 16 points and nine assists. Sabonis has 19 rebounds and is closing in on a triple-double despite his struggles from the field. The over is looking great and any bet on the Pacers is looking great. This has been a great confidence boost for Indiana’s complementary players as they look to make the final playoff field.
7:30 PM - We’ve finally reached halftime of the first play-in game and it has not been fun to watch. The Pacers are up 69-45 and have shown no signs of giving the Hornets even a small glimpse of an opening. McDermott has 20 points in the first half to lead Indiana while Cody Zeller has 10 points off the bench to lead Charlotte. If you bet the over, you’re in good shape unless the Pacers really pull away and unload the reserves. Any bet on the Pacers winning is looking really good as well. The player parlays on Sabonis, Rozier, Bridges and Ball are unlikely to pay off unless Indiana’s big man gets hot in the second half.
7:24 PM - Pacers lead the Hornets 59-41 as we approach halftime of the first game of the play-in tournament. The live over/under has moved to 220, down from the original 226.5 before the game started. McDermott has 18 points, meaning a bet on his point total paid off if you followed Jovan’s advice.
6:58 PM - Pacers lead the Hornets 40-24 after the first quarter. The over is looking really good right now, as well as any bets on the Pacers to win the game. If you had player parlays (points score + winning the game) on Domantas Sabonis, Miles Bridges, LaMelo Ball or Terry Rozier, it’s not looking too hot for you. Sabonis has two points while Bridges, Ball and Rozier will have to try to dig the Hornets out of a 16-point deficit.
6:51 PM - Pacers are up 32-18 with 2:42 to go in the first quarter. If you had the over prior to tip-off at 226.5, you should be feeling strong about this game. If you took Jovan’s advice about Doug McDermott scoring over 16.5 points in this game, you should be really happy with what’s happening tonight. McDermott has 16 points already and is 5-6 from the floor to start the game.
6:18 PM- Pacers announce their starting lineup: Doug McDermott, Malcolm Brogdon, Oshae Brissett, Justin Holiday and Domantas Sabonis
Brogdon and Sabonis were listed a questionable heading into tonight’s contest. Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren said Sabonis was expected to play in his pre-game media availability while Brogdon’s status was still up in the air. Both players being available will boost Indiana’s chances of advancing in the play-in tournament.
6:14 PM - Hornets announce their starting lineup: LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Miles Bridges, PJ Washington, Bismack Biyombo
Spread: Pacers -1.5 (-109)
Moneyline: CHA +102, IND -121
Hornets vs. Pacers injury report
Caris LeVert — The Pacers aren’t expected to have LeVert for this game after he was placed in health and safety protocols, per Shams Charania. With LeVert sidelined, that’s a decent amount of scoring the Pacers will have to make up. LeVert is expected to be sidelined for at least 10-14 days as per the NBA’s guidelines. So if Indiana advances, LeVert may not be back until the middle of the first round at best.
Update: Sabonis (quad) is expected to play, coach Nate Bjorkgren confirmed before the game. Brogdon, along with Aaron Holiday and Edmond Sumner are available to play as well. Other than LeVert, the Pacers are at full-strength.
Domantas Sabonis/Malcolm Brogdon — Sabonis is expected to play but is listed as questionable. Brogdon is closer to a game-time decision but we’ll see what his status is later on. You’d think in such an important game that both starters would be good to go. If one or both are sidelined along with LeVert, that would be a big advantage for the Hornets.
Gordon Hayward — The Hornets won’t have Hayward for their play-in tournament game as he’s still nursing a sprained foot. If the Hornets end up advancing, we could see Hayward return at some point. Charlotte will likely lean more on Jalen McDaniels at SF as well as mixing in Miles Bridges if the team decides to go bigger.