Pacers swingman Caris LeVert to miss Play-In game vs. Hornets

Published May 19, 2021, 6:00 AMNBA.com News Services

Indiana's second-leading scorer will sit out the Play-In game against Charlotte Wednesday.

The Indiana Pacers need a win in tonight’s State Farm Play-In Tournament showdown with the Charlotte Hornets to keep their playoff hopes alive. However, the Pacers will be doing so without one of their top players as Caris LeVert is out due to health and safety protocols.

LeVert is second on the Pacers in scoring (20.7 ppg) and has recovered to put together a solid season after having surgery to treat renal cell carcinoma of the kidney that was discovered during the physical to complete the trade that brought him to the Pacers this season.

The Pacers are the No. 9 seed in the Play-In Tournament and host the Hornets, with the winner advancing in the Play-In and the loser’s season ending. Whoever wins the Pacers-Hornets game will face the loser of the No. 7 vs. No. 8 game, which pits the Boston Celtics (No. 7) against the Washington Wizards. The winner of the Celtics-Wizards game gets the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The team that wins the Hornets/Pacers winner vs. Celtics/Wizards loser game is the East’s No. 8 seed.

Indiana acquired LeVert as a part of the four-team mega-trade that sent former Kia MVP James Harden from Houston to Brooklyn. In each of his first four NBA seasons, LeVert’s scoring totals have improved despite him largely coming off the bench during that span. That was again the case this season as he averaged 20.2 ppg overall between his time spent with Brooklyn and Indiana.

The Pacers have also listed leading scorer Malcolm Brogdon (21.2 ppg) and All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis (20.3 ppg, 12.0 rpg) as questionable for tonight’s game. Brogdon is dealing with a sore right hamstring, while Sabonis has a bruised left quadriceps injury. Additionally, reserves Aaron Holiday (right toe sprain) and Edmond Sumner (left knee contusion) are also questionable vs. Charlotte.

The Pacers have been playing without Jeremy Lamb (left knee soreness), T.J. Warren (left foot surgery) and Myles Turner (partial plantar plate tear in right toe) for parts — if not all — of the season.