Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 7:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Pacers Practice Availability | January 23, 2023
After a four-game road trip, the Pacers (23-25) are back home on Tuesday night for a Central Division showdown with the Chicago Bulls (22-24).
The Blue & Gold went 0-4 over last week's road trip and have now dropped seven straight contests to dip under .500. The hope is that they can discover their winning form on their home court -- where Indiana has gone 15-9 this season.
Head coach Rick Carlisle made a lineup tweak in Saturday's 112-107 loss in Phoenix, starting T.J. McConnell at point guard for the first time this season and moving rookie guard Andrew Nembhard (who had taken over point guard duties with the first unit since Tyrese Haliburton was injured on Jan. 11 in New York) back off the ball.
The move seemingly paid off, as McConnell provided a steadying presence to Indiana's offense, recording a triple-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. He also got Buddy Hield going again after a recent shooting slump, as the sharpshooter scored 22 points and made five 3-pointers on Saturday.
Those developments weren't enough for the Pacers to snap their skid, but they were competitive until the final buzzer after four straight double-digit losses.
It's been an up-and-down season for the Bulls, but they have won three straight and six of their last nine. Included in that stretch are wins over Brooklyn, Golden State, and at Philadelphia as well as a 111-100 win on Monday night over Atlanta.
Prior to Monday, the Bulls had played just once in the past week, as they traveled to Paris to face Detroit in the NBA Global Games on Thursday, where they came away with a 126-108 win.
Chicago still has two prolific scorers in DeMar DeRozan (26.1 points per game on 50.6 percent shooting) and Zach LaVine (24 points per game while shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from 3-point range). They also have a former All-Star big man in Nikola Vucevic (17.4 points and 11.2 rebounds). That trio will present a challenge to Indiana's young defense.
Pacers: G - T.J. McConnell, G - Andrew Nembhard, F - Buddy Hield, F - Aaron Nesmith, C - Myles Turner
Bulls: G - Ayo Dosunmu, G - Zach LaVine, F - DeMar DeRozan, F - Patrick Williams, C - Nikola Vucevic
Pacers: Andrew Nembhard - questionable (non-COVID illness), Tyrese Haliburton - out (left knee/elbow sprains), Daniel Theis - out (right knee surgery)
Bulls: Goran Dragic - questionable (non-COVID illness), Lonzo Ball - out (left knee surgery), Javonte Green - out (right knee surgery)
Oct. 26, 2022: The Pacers trailed by as many as 24 in the first half, climbed within four during a 36-point third quarter, but couldn't get over the hump, dropping a divisional battle to the Bulls in Chicago, 125-109.
Buddy Hield played a pivotal role in the Blue & Gold's third quarter surge and finished with a season-high 25 points and went 7-for-12 from 3-point range for Indiana.
Tyrese Haliburton added his fourth straight double-double in the loss, tallying 17 points and 11 assists.
But it wasn't enough for the Pacers to overcome another large deficit. Indiana surrendered 76 points in the first half, digging a hole that proved to be too deep to climb out of.
"We've got to decide that we're going to start games stronger, with more presence, with more disposition," Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. "That we're going to move the ball better. That's really where we are as a team right now."
Zach LaVine led all scorers with 28 points, going 6-for-8 from 3-point range and 10-for-12 from the free throw line, and also registered six rebounds and five assists. DeMar DeRozan added 17 points and six assists, while Nikola Vucevic finished with 14 points, seven boards, and four assists.
- The Bulls have won their last four games at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, taking a pair of games in each of the previous two seasons. Prior to that, the Pacers had won eight straight home games against Chicago.
- Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin and Bulls rookie Dalen Terry were teammates at the University of Arizona for two seasons.
- Indiana and Chicago will meet twice more after Tuesday, facing off on Feb. 15 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse and on March 5 in Chicago.
- Pacers radio play-by-play announcer Mark Boyle will be recognized at Tuesday's game after calling his 3,000th career game on Saturday in Phoenix.
Broadcast Information (TV and Radio Listings >>)
TV: Bally Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
After a four-game road trip, the Pacers will be back at Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets >>