Sabonis scores career-high 30, Pacers beat Hornets 123-117

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Sabonis scores career-high 30, Pacers beat Hornets 123-117
Indiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis, left, drives against Charlotte Hornets' Willy Hernangomez, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, April 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Domantas Sabonis scored a career-high 30 points, Victor Oladipo had 27 points on 12-of-15 shooting and the Indiana Pacers beat the Charlotte Hornets 123-117 on Sunday to keep alive their slim hopes of winning the Central Division title.

Lance Stephenson, a former Hornet, had 10 rebounds, 10 assists and eight points for the Pacers, who have won seven of their last nine games.

Rookie Malik Monk, coming off a career-high 26-point effort, led the Hornets with 22 points in their final home game of the season.

For Indiana (48-33) to win the Central and earn home-court advantage for the first round of the NBA playoffs, it needs to beat Charlotte on Tuesday night and have the Cleveland Cavaliers (49-31) lose their final two games against the New York Knicks. The Pacers have the tiebreaker advantage over the Cavaliers after taking three of four in the season series, including a 124-107 win in November.

The Pacers jumped out to a 70-57 halftime lead after shooting 67 percent from the field, including 6 of 9 from 3-point range.

Charlotte rallied in the third quarter, but the Pacers took over and quickly built a 20-point lead even with Oladipo on the bench with four fouls.

Indiana shot 54 percent from the field for the game.

TIP INS

Pacers: Stephenson wore gold-colored shoes. … Glenn Robinson III and Cory Joseph each had 13 points as the Pacers’ reserves outscored the Hornets’ backups, 72-60.

Hornets: Monk has scored in double digits in nine of his last 12 games. … Kemba Walker didn’t score until there was 5 minutes left in the second quarter and finished with 12 points. … The Hornets honored play-by-play announcer Steve Martin, who is retiring after 30 seasons with the franchise.

UP NEXT

Pacers: Host Hornets on Tuesday.

Hornets: Visit Pacers on Tuesday.

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