The suddenly rolling Pacers (5-3) will look to extend their winning streak to four games on Friday night in Philadelphia against Joel Embiid and the 76ers (4-4).
After sweeping two home games against Sacramento and San Antonio, the Blue & Gold went into Cleveland on Wednesday night and steamrolled the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions. Thaddeus Young had a team-high 26 points as three starters topped 20 points and all five scored in double figures in a 124-107 win.
Now, the Pacers, picked by most media outlets to finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings this season, find themselves tied for third in the East, just a game behind Boston and fellow surprise team Orlando. And that's despite playing seven of their first eight games without starting center Myles Turner, arguably the team's best player.
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Turner could return on Friday night in Philadelphia. The 21-year-old rising star had 21 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks in a season-opening win over Brooklyn, but sustained a concussion in the closing minutes and has not played since.
Turner was unable to do much for the first week of his injury, but has recently made significant progress through the NBA's concussion protocol to the point that he has been getting up shots and working out on the court. It is conceivable that he could be cleared to play against Philadelphia, setting up an enticing matchup against 76ers center Joel Embiid.
Embiid missed his first two NBA seasons due to injuries, then only played 31 games as a rookie last season, but put up eye-popping numbers (20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game) when he was on the court.
The 7-footer out of Cameroon has been even better through seven games this season, averaging 20.9 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 3.4 assists while shooting 52.8 percent from the field. He stuffed the stat sheet in a 119-109 win over Atlanta on Wednesday, racking up 21 points (on 9-of-16 shooting), 12 rebounds, six assists, three blocks, and three steals.
Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Domantas Sabonis
76ers: PG - Ben Simmons, SG - J.J. Redick, SF - Robert Covington, PF - Dario Saric, C - Joel Embiid
Pacers: Glenn Robinson III - out (left ankle surgery rehabilitation), Edmond Sumner - out (left knee surgery rehabilitation), Myles Turner - questionable (concussion protocol), Damien Wilkins - out (personal reasons)
April 10, 2017: The Pacers picked up a 120-111 win in Philadelphia in the second-to-last game of the season to inch toward securing a playoff berth.
Paul George scored 17 of his game-high 27 points in the first quarter in the win and also dished out five assists. Thaddeus Young added 20 points on 10-of-15 shooting, eight boards, and three assists.
"I thought when we needed to play defense and lock in, we did that really quick," George said. "They definitely had some good runs, but we held up against a team that plays hard."
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot led Philadelphia with 24 points in the loss.
- The Pacers lead the all-time series with Philadelphia 46-39 and are 15-16 in games played in Philadelphia.
- Indiana won three of four games against the 76ers last year and has won 12 of the last 14.
- Lance Stephenson needs seven points to reach 2,000 career points with the Pacers.
The Pacers will return home to host DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Find Tickets »
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TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)
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