Rick Carlisle
(NBAE/Getty Images)

Game Preview: Pacers vs Raptors

Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Pacers vs Raptors
Game Preview

The Pacers (5-6) wrap up a four-game homestand on Saturday night, when they welcome the Toronto Raptors (7-6) to Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

After winning four of five, Indiana looked poise to get over .500 for the first time this season on Wednesday night against Denver. Buoyed by a sensational 18-point second quarter from rookie guard Bennedict Mathurin, the Blue & Gold led by 18 midway through the third quarter.

But Denver stormed back and ultimately overcame Indiana, eking out a 122-119 victory. It was a learning moment for a young Pacers team that still occasionally experiences growing pains.

"We’ve got to close games better, and that's on me," 22-year-old star guard Tyrese Haliburton said after the loss. "It starts with me as a point guard. Down the stretch, we just gotta get better shots."

The Raptors pose another good test for the youthful Pacers. Though star forward Pascal Siakam (averaging 24.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 7.7 assists over nine games) is currently sidelined, Toronto still has a strong mix of veteran and young talent.

Fresh off his first All-Star selection last season, point guard Fred VanVleet is averaging 18.4 points, 6.8 assists, and 2.3 steals and shooting 42.2 percent from 3-point range. Reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes is VanVleet's running mate, averaging 14.3 points, 6.4 boards, and 4.9 assists per contest.

The Raptors will be traveling to Indiana on the second half of a back-to-back after falling 132-113 in Oklahoma City on Friday night.

Projected Starters

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

Raptors:  G - Fred VanVleet, G - Gary Trent Jr., F - OG Anunoby, F - Scottie Barnes, C - Christian Koloko

Injury Report

Pacers: Chris Duarte - out (left ankle sprain), Daniel Theis - out (right knee soreness)

Raptors: Precious Achiuwa - out (right ankle ligament partial tear), Khem Birch - out (sore right knee), Justin Champagnie - out (sore lower back), Pascal Siakam - out (right adductor strain)

Last Meeting

March 26, 2022: The shorthanded Pacers got shellacked in Toronto, 131-91, in a bizarre game that featured a one-hour delay and finished without fans.

Toronto already had a commanding 66-38 lead with 4:05 remaining in the second quarter when the Pacers called timeout. Several minutes earlier, a small electrical fire had broken out on a speaker in the rafters of the arena. When play stopped, the fire chief made the decision to send both teams back to their locker rooms and evacuate the arena.

The game was delayed for a little over an hour and ultimately resumed without fans being let back in the building. The Pacers -- playing with just eight healthy players -- did not fare any better after the delay, ultimately falling by 40.

"15 years for me, probably the most bizarre situation that we've been in for a game," Pacers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce -- acting as head coach with Rick Carlisle not with the team for person reasons -- said after the game. "I really give both teams and all of the players credit for going into the locker room, being deactivated, and then having to come back out on the floor and add 10 minutes to the clock and get going again."

Oshae Brissett led four Pacers in double figures with 21 points while also collecting eight rebounds and four steals. Justin Anderson added 18 points, six boards, and four assists while going 4-for-7 from 3-point range. Jalen Smith tallied 15 points, six rebounds, and three blocks, while Buddy Hield scored 14 and went 4-for-8 from beyond the arc.

Raptors forward Pascal Siakam led all scorers with 23 points, six rebounds, seven assists, and three steals. Scottie Barnes added 19 points, six boards, and seven assists for Toronto, while Precious Achiuwa finished with 18 points off the bench, going 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

Noteworthy
  • Toronto won three of four games last season against Indiana.
  • Former Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren is back on staff as an assistant coach with the Raptors. Bjorkgren came to Indiana from Toronto and spent one season in Indiana, going 34-38 in 2020-21.
  • Raptors forward Thaddeus Young started 236 regular season games and 15 playoff games for the Pacers from 2016-19.
  • Pacers rookie guard Bennedict Mathurin and Raptors rookie center Christian Koloko were teammates for two seasons at the University of Arizona.
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)

Tickets

The Pacers wrap up a four-game homestand against Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets >>