Pacers vs Wizards

Game Preview presented by Jiffy Lube

Game Preview: Pacers vs Wizards

Thursday, February 16, 2016 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Matchup

The Pacers (29-27) will look to head into the All-Star break on a high note on Thursday night, when they welcome the Washington Wizards (33-21) to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

After putting together a seven-game win streak, Indiana has dropped its last five contests, falling back to just two games above .500. The Blue & Gold's schedule over that stretch has been brutal, for sure, with two games against the East-leading Cavaliers and two more against the Spurs and Wizards, both of whom are in the top three in their respective conferences.

Nonetheless, losing that many games in a row is a source of real frustration for the Pacers.

Their latest loss, a 113-104 defeat on Wednesday night in Cleveland, was especially frustrating for All-Star forward Paul George. George got off to a fast start, scoring 10 points in the first 7:08 on 3-of-5 shooting. But he scored just once more all night, knocking down a 3-pointer with 5:15 left in the contest after the Cavs had already opened up a 17-point lead. George finished the night just 4-for-19 from the field.

2017 ALL-STAR WEEKEND: Complete Coverage at Pacers.com/All-Star »

The Pacers did get strong offensive performances from several backcourt players in Cleveland, including Glenn Robinson III (19 points on 7-of-10 shooting), Jeff Teague (15 points and 11 assists), and Monta Ellis (14 points on 6-of-8 shooting and seven assists off the bench), but they struggled defensively to contain the Cavs, particularly from beyond the 3-point arc.

Cleveland knocked down 18 threes on the night — five during a decisive 23-6 run in the fourth quarter — to hand the Pacers another loss.

Now, the Pacers will set their sights on Washington, a team that beat them just last Friday in D.C. The Wizards are red hot, having won 10 of their last 11 contests.

Washington is led by the dynamic backcourt of All-Star point guard John Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal. Wall leads the team in scoring at 22.9 points per game and is second in the NBA in assists at 10.6 per contest. Beal is the ideal Robin to Wall's Batman, scoring 22.3 points per contest and shooting just under 40 percent from 3-point range.

Despite their recent skid, the Pacers are still in solid playoff position. They are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, a full two games ahead of seventh-place Chicago. Still, a win on Thursday would help build some much-needed momentum heading into the second half of the season.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Jeff Teague, SG - Glenn Robinson III, SF - Paul George, PF - Kevin Seraphin, C - Myles Turner
Wizards: PG - John Wall, SG - Bradley Beal, SF - Otto Porter Jr., PF - Markieff Morris, C - Marcin Gortat

Injury Report

Pacers: Thaddeus Young - out (sprained left wrist), Lavoy Allen - out (sore right knee)

Wizards: None

Last Meeting

February 10, 2016: The Pacers and Wizards went back and forth in Washington, but it was the hosts who came out on top with a 112-107 victory.

Paul George led all scorers with 32 points in the loss, going 12-for-23 from the field. Kevin Seraphin added 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting and seven rebounds off the bench.

John Wall led Washington with 26 points and 14 assists. Bradley Beal added 20 points, while both Markieff Morris (26 points and 10 rebounds) and Marcin Gortat (14 points and 16 boards) recorded double-doubles.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers are 95-75 all-time against the Wizards, including a 61-23 record at home.
  • Indiana is 3-8 on the season when playing on the second night of a back-to-back, but 3-3 when the second game of a back-to-back is at home.
  • Wizards center Ian Mahinmi spent four seasons with the Pacers before signing with Washington last summer. After battling knee injuries for much of the season, Mahinmi has played limited minutes in the Wizards' last three games.
  • Paul George is three steals shy of reaching 700 in his career. Jeff Teague needs seven steals to reach the same milestone.

Tickets

The Pacers will host John Wall and the Washington Wizards on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:00 PM ET in their final game before the All-Star Break. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)

IUPUI Night

Thursday's game is also IUPUI Night. The first 3,000 fans to enter the game will receive a light up bracelet courtesy of IUPUI.

Home Court Gift Shop Game Night Special

Hoop Set - $12. Game Night Specials can be purchased in the Home Court Gift Shop or any of our souvenir stands located on all levels of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The special is also available online at PacersGear.com until midnight.


Construction Notes: Due to construction taking place, N. Pennsylvania Street will be closed from E. Vermont Street through E. New York Street. Traffic will be reduced to two lanes from E. North Street to E. Michigan Street. With expected downtown traffic this evening, be sure to plan for extra travel time.

The Delaware St. entrance to the Virginia Ave. Parking Garage is no longer in operation due to the construction of the St. Vincent Center. To enter the Virginia Ave. Parking Garage, please use the entrance located at the intersection of E Maryland St. and S Alabama St.

In addition, the southbound lane of Delaware Street from Maryland to just south of the train bridge will be closed for the duration of the construction project.