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Tune-In Tidbits: NBA TV Thursday, April 29, 2021

Get ready for Thursday's NBA TV game between the Nets and Pacers with five key stats to know about the matchup.

Brian Martin, for NBA.com

Pacers guard Caris LeVert will face his former team on Thursday night.

Nets (42-20) at Pacers (29-32)
7 p.m. ET, NBA TV

• The East-leading Nets go for the season sweep of the Pacers on Thursday and will do so with Kevin Durant in the lineup for the first time against Indiana. Brooklyn had Kyrie Irving (35 PTS) in the first meeting on Feb. 10; James Harden was the only member of the Big 3 to face the Pacers twice (29.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 10 APG) but he is out tonight (hamstring), as is Irving (groin).

• After missing three games with a thigh contusion, Kevin Durant has looked sharp in his first two games back in the Brooklyn lineup. In wins over Phoenix and Toronto, Durant has averaged 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks while shooting 60.7% (17-28) from the field and 62.5% (5-8) from 3-point range in 30.4 minutes per game. The Nets have outscored their opponents by 26 points in Durant’s 61 minutes on the court.

• The Pacers just had a three-game win streak snapped on Tuesday in a loss to Portland as the Pacers were missing key members of their frontline – Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner – who are both expected to miss tonight’s game with Brooklyn as well. Sabonis averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds and 7.5 assists against the Nets this season. Malcolm Brogdon led Indiana at 19.5 PPG, while Caris LeVert had 19 points and five assists in his first game against his former team on March 17.

• The Nets enter Thursday ranked ninth in points in the paint (49.7 PPG), and will be facing a Pacers team without one of the top rim protectors in the league in Myles Turner in the lineup. Turner leads the NBA in blocks (3.4 BPG) and allows the second-lowest field goal percentage at the rim (49.6%) in the league. With Turner out of the paint, keep an eye on Kyrie Irving driving to the basket; he ranks 10th in the league in points off drives (9.7 PPG) on 55.5% shooting.

• The Pacers rank fifth in the league in points off turnovers (18.2 PPG) and second in fast break points (16.4 PPG) as Indiana is one of the top teams at turning defense – 8.5 steals per game (4th in NBA); 14.7% opponent turnover percentage (10th in NBA) into offense. T.J. McConnell ranks third in the league in steals (1.7 SPG) and fifth in deflections (3.5) to help fuel those opportunities.

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