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NBA World Reacts To The Hornets' Brutal 1st Half

Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 12: LaMelo Ball #2 of the Charlotte Hornets dribbles during the second half of their game against the Toronto Raptors at Spectrum Center on December 12, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The first ever NBA "Play-In" tournament tipped off this evening with a matchup between the No. 9 Indiana Pacers and the No. 10 Charlotte Hornets. While rising-star rookie LaMelo Ball and his squad were the lower seed heading into this contest, the game was largely expected to be a closely-contested affair.

So far, that couldn't be further from the case.

Heading into the locker room at halftime, the Hornets trail the Pacers 69-45.

NBA fans and analysts from around the basketball world took to Twitter to react to the less-than-exciting opening game of the 2021 play-in.

The Pacers got off to a big lead early and never looked back. Their quick start was in large part due to some outstanding shooting from Doug McDermott, notching 14 points in the first five minutes of the game (most by any player in this time frame all season). By the end of the half McDermott had a game-high 20 points.

Veteran guard Malcom Brogdon also chipped in with some solid first-half stats -- logging 13 points in his first game back in 10 contests.

Indiana holds this significant lead despite missing some key players. Caris LaVert (health and safety protocols), Aaron Holiday (right toe), TJ Warren (left foot), Myles Turner (right toe) and Jeremy Lamb (left knee) are all out for this evening's matchup.

Pacers' All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis was also a non-factor, chipping in just two points on 1-7 shooting in the first half.

Charlotte are without star forward Gordon Hayward, who's missed the last 25 contests with a foot sprain.

Closing out the regular season with a five-game losing streak, it looks as though the Hornets will make it six in this elimination matchup.