Pacers finish stellar season 48-34

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A remarkable regular season came to a close for the Pacers Tuesday night, where the Charlotte Hornets beat a short-handed Indiana team 119-93, but with the five seed in the eastern conference already sewed up, it was a chance to rest some regulars.

Bojan Bogdanovich and Thaddeus Young, key players in a playoff season rested and sat out, while all-star Victor Oladipo played assistant coach, also relaxed in street clothes, enjoying the moment after tweaking a toe in Sunday’s win in Charlotte.

Players like top draft pick T.J. Leaf, Al Jefferson, Edwards Sumner and Ike Anigbogu all saw minutes in a game that had no bearing on the standings.

After the buzzer sounded, it was celebration time, as the players tossed signed balls, shoes and shirts into the crowd on fan appreciation night.

“They did an excellent job this year,” said guard Lance Stephenson. “Cheering us on, and keeping us going for every game, and during the game. I feel the fans this year made it very exciting.”

Veteran Darren Collison, who finished one of his best years in the NBA agreed. “We knew the fans were going to be kind of our 6th man this season, and they have been. They helped us win some games with their support and cheering for us every single play, it’s been a joy to play in front of them all year.”

And it’s not over yet. Indiana will open the playoffs on the road this weekend, either in Cleveland or Philadelphia, depending on what happens Wednesday with the Cavaliers and the 76ers, but this blue and gold team will be ready for the challenge.

“Tonight was a time to celebrate and reflect,” said Myles Turner. “We have a whole other season ahead of us, and we’re really looking forward to it.”

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