Pacers And Blazers Finish Season Series Thursday Night At Moda Center

by Casey Holdahl
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After having some difficulty winning home games earlier in the season, the Trail Blazers have taken their last four games at the Moda Center. They'll try to continue that streak when they host the Indiana Pacers Thursday night in the second game of a three-game homestand. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Thursday night's game is the second of two meetings this season between the Pacers and Blazers, with Portland taking the first contest 114-96 in Indianapolis on October 20, 2017. CJ McCollum led all scorers with 28 points on 12-of-18 shooting in what was his first game of the 2017-18 season -- he was suspended for the opener versus the Suns -- and Al-Farouq Aminu finished with a double-double of 16 points and a season-high 16 rebounds.

Pacers starting center Myles Turner miss the first meeting with a concussion and will miss the second due to a right elbow injury.

More recently, the Trail Blazers are coming off a 118-111 victory versus the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night at the Moda Center. Portland led by as many as 27 in the second half before a Phoenix comeback, powered by 21 fourth-quarter points from Suns guard Devin Booker, forced the Trail Blazers to play their starters until the final moments of the contest.

“It’s a shame that the five or six minutes in the fourth quarter kind of put a damper on what was a really good game for us," said Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. "We did a lot of good things. Offensively, we shared the ball, set good screens. Defensively, in the second and third quarter, we were very good. Disappointed I had to put basically the starters back in the game, but they held on to it. Devin Booker is a hell of a player."

As for the Pacers, they enter Thursday's game having won three straight and five of their last six, including a 109-94 win versus the Jazz in Salt Lake City on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Victor Oladipo led the Pacers with 28 points on 9-of-16 shooting, six rebounds and six assists in 35 minutes. The 6-4 guard in his fifth season out of Indiana has been arguably the biggest surprise in the NBA in his first season with the Pacers, averaging 24.3 points on 49 percent shooting from the field and 42 percent shooting from three, 5.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 34.0 minutes per game.

Domantas Sabonis, acquired with Oladipo this offseason in the trade that sent Paul George to Oklahoma City, is also having a career year with averages of 12.4 points on 53 percent shooting from the field and 39 percent shooting from three, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 24.9 minutes per game. Domantas was born in Portland and is the son of former Trail Blazers great and Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis.

Thursday night's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. Brian Wheeler and Michael Holton will have the radio call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.