Miles Bridges Says Hornets Didn't Play Like They Wanted to Be in the Playoffs

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 19, 2021

Indiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis,right, goes to the basket against Charlotte Hornets' Miles Bridges (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference play-in game Tuesday, May 18, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Miles Bridges was quite candid after his Charlotte Hornets lost in blowout fashion to the Indiana Pacers in Tuesday's Eastern Conference play-in tournament game.

"We got our ass whipped today," he said after the 144-117 loss, per Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. "Nothing else to it... They played like they wanted to be in the playoffs and we didn't."

Bridges did his part and finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists on 10-of-16 shooting from the field. He led his team in scoring and tied Terry Rozier for the most rebounds, so it was difficult to blame him.

Yet Charlotte's defense was abysmal in defeat.

The Pacers poured in 144 points with eight different players in double figures. Domantas Sabonis finished with 21 rebounds on his own, which was closer to the Hornets' total of 36 than Charlotte's total was to Indiana's 54.

The Hornets were a middling 16th in the league in defensive rating, per NBA.com, and picked a poor time to collapse on that end of the floor.

Indiana's road to the playoffs continues, as it will face the loser of Tuesday's game between the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics. The winner of the game between Boston and Washington will be the No. 7 seed in the traditional eight-team bracket, while the winner of the Pacers' next game will be the No. 8 seed.

The Pacers struggled down the stretch of the season and went 9-11 in their final 20 games prior to Tuesday's display of dominance.

To hear Bridges tell it, they simply wanted it more.