CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When his MRI got here again unfavorable after taking a shot to his left knee earlier this week, Domantas Sabonis informed Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren there was no method he was going to relaxation and let his teammates down.
“I do not like sitting out,” Sabonis mentioned. “I wakened at this time and I felt good. I did my taking pictures time and I used to be like, ‘I can play.’ I’d have felt worse if I did not play.”
Sabonis powered via together with his bruised knee, getting 22 factors, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to guide Indiana previous the Charlotte Hornets 116-106 on Wednesday evening. He got here into the sport listed as questionable however completed 9-of-10 from the sector.
“The toughness that he confirmed to step foot in that sport after taking that knee-to-knee [on Monday], that toughness goes a good distance,” Bjorkgren mentioned.
Doug McDermott scored a season-high 28 factors — three shy of his profession excessive — Malcolm Brogdon had 25 factors and Justin Holiday chipped in with 19 factors for the Pacers, who’ve gained three of 4.
Sabonis bruised his knee throughout a collision with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry on Monday evening and had an MRI on Tuesday that confirmed no harm.
He was on his sport from the beginning, repeatedly making the fitting performs and discovering teammates like McDermott on cuts to the basket and taking advantage of his shot choice out and in of the paint. Indiana had 34 assisted baskets.
“He is a keen passer. When the ball is in his arms, he will make the fitting play,” Bjorkgren mentioned of Sabonis. “He took 10 photographs and had double-digit assists. He’ll repeatedly make the fitting play.”
Mentioned Brogdon: “Together with Joker [Nikola Jokic], he is probably the greatest passing bigs within the league.”
The Pacers led by 36-19 after the primary quarter.
“We’re attempting totally different lineups now,” Hornets coach James Borrego mentioned. “That was a brand new group on the market tonight. It was a poor first quarter. It wasn’t simply the primary group, it was the second group as effectively.”
The Related Press contributed to this report.