Jalen Smith
(NBAE/Getty Images)

Game Preview: Pacers vs Magic

Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Pacers vs Magic
Game Preview

After grinding out a come-from-behind win in Houston to sweep a two-game road trip, the Pacers (8-6) return home to host the Magic on Saturday, the first of two straight games against Orlando (5-11).

Indiana fell behind 25-6 on Friday night against the Rockets in a disastrous first quarter, then lost head coach Rick Carlisle to an ejection before halftime, but still rallied to knock off the Rockets, 99-91. It was the third straight victory for the Blue & Gold and their seventh in their last nine contests.

The win was marred somewhat when star point guard Tyrese Haliburton injured his ankle after colliding with Rockets big man Usman Garuba in the final minute. Haliburton had to be helped to the locker room, but said afterwards he did not have major concerns about the injury. He did not that it was a reaggravation of a right ankle sprain he suffered last Saturday in a win over Toronto, casting doubt on his availability against Orlando.

If Haliburton can't go, it would mean even more minutes for rookie guard Andrew Nembhard, who was already starting but could slide over to point guard in Haliburton's absence. Backup point guard T.J. McConnell would also likely see an increased role.

Like the Pacers, the Magic are also coming off a road victory on Friday night. Orlando led by as many as 19 in Chicago but ultimately won 108-107 in dramatic fashion on second-year guard Jalen Suggs' 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

Fans were hoping this two-game set would offer a matchup between Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin and Orlando forward Paolo Banchero, the two early leaders in the Rookie of the Year race. Banchero leads all rookies in scoring, averaging 23.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists over his first 11 NBA games, but the top pick in the 2022 Draft has not played since Nov. 7 due to a sprained ankle and is expected to miss another week.

Projected Starters

Pacers: G - Tyrese Haliburton, G - Andrew Nembhard, F - Buddy Hield, F - Jalen Smith, C - Myles Turner

Magic: G - Jalen Suggs, G - Franz Wagner, F - Chuma Okeke, F - Bol Bol, C - Mo Bamba

Injury Report

Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton - questionable (sore right ankle), Chris Duarte - out (left ankle sprain), Daniel Theis - out (sore right knee)

Magic: Wendell Carter Jr. - questionable (right plantar fascia strain), Gary Harris - questionable (left knee injury management), Cole Anthony - out (right internal oblique tear), Paolo Banchero - out (left ankle sprain), Markelle Fultz - out (left big toe fracture), Jonathan Isaac - out (left knee injury recovery), Moritz Wagner - out (right midfoot sprain)

Last Meeting

March 2, 2022: Indiana rallied from an 18-point deficit to take a lead late in the fourth quarter in Orlando. Some late-game miscues allowed the Magic to force overtime, but the Pacers made the plays needed in the extra session to come away with a 122-114 victory.

Malcolm Brogdon tallied 31 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, and two steals in 41 minutes to help Indiana split a two-game set with the Magic.

Tyrese Haliburton (21 points and six assists) and Buddy Hield (17 points, five boards, three assists, and two steals) also played key roles down the stretch.

"We started moving it better," Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said of the Pacers' strong close. "Our unselfishness on offense energized our defense and we were able to make a run. Almost had the thing won in regulation, then obviously a great job in overtime closing it out."

Franz Wagner led six Magic players in double figures with 28 points, going 10-for-18 from the field and 4-for-6 from 3-point range. Mo Bamba (19 points and 12 rebounds) and Wendell Carter Jr. (13 points, 18 rebounds, and five assists) both recorded double-doubles for Orlando in the loss.

  • The Pacers had won six straight over the Magic before Orlando took the first two regular season games against Indiana last season.
  • Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard and Magic guard Jalen Suggs were teammates on the Gonzaga team that went 31-1 in 2020-21 and reached the championship game of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
  • Orlando guard Gary Harris is a graduate of Hamilton Southeastern High School.
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)


The Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to tip off their next homestand against Franz Wagner and the Orlando Magic on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7:00 PM ET Find Tickets >>