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Coach Nate McMillan wanted the Indiana Pacers rested and ready for the playoffs – even if the strategy cost them their regular-season
finale.
So McMillan rested three starters and watched the Charlotte Hornets knock down 18 3-pointers and eventually pull away for a 119-93 victory Tuesday
night.
”My message to them Kentavius Street Jersey , it really shouldn’t look any different as far as how we play even though we have a number of guys out of uniform,” he said. ”We
wanted to give some guys an opportunity to get minutes. We were able to do
that.”
It wasn’t the same – not even close.
Frank Kaminsky matched his career high with 24 points, Dwight Howard finished with 14 points and 17 rebounds and the struggling Hornets came up one 3 short of
tying their season high.
Charlotte won for only the second time in its last seven games and ended a three-game losing streak in Indy.
But it was little solace for a team that has now missed the playoffs three times in four seasons and could be headed for a major offseason overhaul with
new general manager and president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak already
in place.
”When you’re eliminated from the playoffs, you want to finish the season on a positive note,” Marvin Williams said after scoring 15 points and tying his
career high with five 3s. ”Coach (Steve Clifford) getting sick was a huge blow
for us. Losing Cody (Zeller) was a big loss. When you lose guys who are
significant, it is tough to bounce back.”
Indiana faced a similar dilemma last summer after being forced to trade four-time All-Star Paul George.
Somehow, McMillan took a young team that most expected to be in this year’s lottery, led it to 48 wins and the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference
playoffs.
With nothing significant at stake Tuesday, McMillan put Bojan Bogdanovic, Victor Oladipo and Thaddeus Young on the bench and carefully monitored the
minutes of other key players.
The result: Darren Collison, T.J. Leaf and Glenn Robinson III each scored 13 points in a game that was never really close.
”You grow up watching the NBA in the postseason. That’s where you want to play your best basketball,” Collison said. ”There’s no greater feeling going
with a team you enjoy playing with.”
Williams made four 3s in the first quarter to help Charlotte take a 37-25 lead and it was 63-55 at halftime.
Charlotte then used an 11-4 run to make it 79-63 midway through the third quarter and the Pacers never got closer than 12 the rest of the game.
TIP-INS
Hornets: Howard finished the season with a franchise-record 53 double-doubles and joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to hold
single-season records with two teams. … Howard also is one of six players to
average a double-double in each of his first 13 seasons in the league. … Malik
Monk had 17 points and Nicolas Batum had 14 points Robert Griffin III Jersey , four rebounds and six assists.
Pacers: Domantas Sabonis had 10 points and 10 rebounds while Lance Stephenson wound up with nine points, 13 rebounds and four assists. … The Pacers played on
Fan Appreciation Night in their ”Hickory” uniforms and Stephenson signed his No.
1 jersey and tossed it into the crowd afterward. … Play was stopped briefly
during the fourth quarter when a T-shirt landed on the court during play.
THE WATCH
Oladipo and Collison must wait one more day to find out if they can win league titles for steals and 3-point percentage.
Collison was 3 of 5 from beyond the arc, improving his percentage to 46.8 percent. That gives him Indiana’s NBA single-season record, breaking Chris
Mullin’s previous mark of 46.5 percent set in 1998-99.
Oladipo, who sat out with a sore right foot, started the night with the highest steals total (177) and the highest average (2.36) since Ricky Rubio
(2.32) in 2013-14.
RESTING PACERS
Just how did McMillan decide who to play?
”I talked with the trainers, I talked with (president of basketball operations) Kevin (Pritchard) and I talked to our guys,” McMillan said. ”Vic has
a little tweak. Bogie has been playing for almost a year now, going back to last
summer and Thaddeus has probably played more minutes than any forward in the
league. So we needed to get those guys some rest.”
UP NEXT
Hornets: The offseason.
Pacers: A trip to Philadelphia or Cleveland for a best-of-seven, first-round series.


DENVER — Outfielder Brandon Nimmo will seek an encore performance after a memorable return to the region where he grew up and will try to continue his
startling power surge Tuesday when the New York Mets look to win their fourth
straight game and again beat the Colorado Rockies.
The Mets blasted the Rockies 12-2 on Monday with their biggest outburst since they scored 12 runs on May 15 against Toronto. Nimmo, who grew up in Cheyenne,
Wyo. Demetrius Harris Jersey , about 100 miles from Denver, led off the game with an inside-the-park home run and went 4-for-6 with two home runs and a
career-high four RBI. The four hits tied his career-high and occurred after he
hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the ninth inning Sunday at Arizona.
Nimmo has hit a career-high 12 home runs this season and 10 since May 23, a 25-game stretch that also includes 19 extra-base hits and 17 RBI. Getting closer
to the plate and eliminating his stride are among the suggestions Nimmo got from
Mets coaches that have helped him improve his swing.
“I’ve been able to be more consistent when they make mistakes,” Nimmo said. “That’s really been the biggest things, those swing changes allowing me to be a
little more consistent. I was always in my approach looking for a good pitch to
hit, to try and drive. Now I’m just doing it a little more often. That’s
encouraging. That’s really nice. That’s actually a pretty dangerous player. I’m
proud of that.”
Left-hander Jason Vargas (2-5, 7.39 ERA) will start for the Mets on Tuesday against German Marquez (4-7, 5.13).
The Rockies will look to end an eight-game losing streak at Coors Field, during which they have been outscored 81-39. Their longest losing streak at home
was nine consecutive games at Mile High Stadium from July 25 to Aug. 18,
1993.
The Rockies (34-3cool have lost nine of their past 11 games and 13 of their past 17, a slide that has dropped them a season-most four games below .500
Starter Tyler Anderson gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings before relievers Harrison Musgrave, Jake McGee Kendell Beckwith Jersey , Jeff Hoffman and Brooks Pounders combined to allow nine runs in 3 2/3 innings, raising the ERA for the Rockies relievers to a
National League-worst 5.60.
“Is there a higher ceiling for this group? For sure,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “But it’s going to take the combination of the good hitting and the
good pitching, and right now we got to get the pitching turned around. And we
got to get it turned around quickly.”
Vargas is 2-2, 9.00 in five starts against the Rockies, the last in 2014. He’s 1-2, 11.40 in three starts at Coors Field, allowing three runs in seven
innings in the most recent one in 2012 while pitching for Seattle.
Marquez is 0-2, 8.44 in three starts this month and last won on May 27 against Cincinnati. He’s 1-4, 7.71 in seven starts at home this season.
Marquez is 1-0, 3.75 in two starts against the Mets. He beat them this season on May 4 at Citi Field, allowing two runs in six innings in Colorado’s 8-7
victory and got a no-decision Aug. 3 Al Davis Jersey , 2017, at Coors Field when he allowed three runs in six innings in the Rockies’ 5-4 triumph.
The Mets (31-3cool will be trying to win four straight games for the first time since May 18-21. They have since gone 7-19, and Monday’s victory was just the
sixth for the Mets in their past 19 games. Monday also marked Nimmo’s second
game at Coors Field. He pinc hit and grounded into a fielder’s choice last
season on Aug. 2.
“I remember I broke my bat,” Nimmo said. “I did a little bit better today.”
Nimmo’s two-homer, four-hit game raised his average to .287 in 60 games with 22 RBI and a 1.013 OPS.
“It’s a much different feel (than last year),” Nimmo said. “It’s a different experience, but I’m glad to be here. Very, very blessed. Most people do not get
to out their dream like this and wonder what it’s like to play on that field and
then get to experience that some day in the big leagues. So really, really
blessed.”
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