Pacers vs 76ers

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Game Preview: Pacers vs 76ers

Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

City Edition Uniforms Set for Debut

The Pacers will wear their new City Edition uniforms for the first time on Saturday. The racing-inspired Nike uniforms will be worn seven times total this season, for four games at home and three on the road. Learn More »

Matchup

After a tough loss on Friday night in Charlotte, the Pacers (29-24) will look to bounce back on Saturday when they host the Philadelphia 76ers (25-24) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Saturday's game will be Philadelphia's only visit of the season to Indiana.

The Pacers dug themselves another early hole in Friday's 133-126 loss to the Hornets. This time, it was a historic hole, as the Blue & Gold gave up a franchise-record 49 points in the first quarter. Though they eventually rallied to tie the game at 82 with 4:43 remaining in the third quarter, the Pacers were never able to retake the lead and ran out of gas down the stretch.

Now they return to Indianapolis for a crucial showdown with the Sixers. Philadelphia is two games back of the Pacers for seventh place in the Eastern Conference, but is tied with Indiana in the loss column. Thanks to a 121-110 win in Philly on Nov. 3, the 76ers can clinch the regular season series (and lock up a potential head-to-head tiebreaker) by beating the Pacers on Saturday.

The Pacers gave up a combined 72 points to Kemba Walker (41 points and nine assists) and Nicolas Batum (31 points on 7-of-11 3-point shooting) on Friday and the Sixers also have an array of scorers who can light up the scoreboard if Indiana isn't locked in defensively.

6-10 point guard Ben Simmons is perhaps the toughest cover. The Rookie of the Year frontrunner was averaging 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists entering Friday, when he tallied 20 points, six boards, and five assists in a 103-97 win in Miami.

But Simmons is far from Philadelphia's only weapon. Sharpshooters J.J. Redick and Robert Covington combined for 13 3-pointers in Philadelphia's win on Nov. 3, second-year forward Dario Šarić is averaging over 14 points per game, and of course, All-Star center Joel Embiid is a force of nature.

Embiid entered Friday averaging 23.8 points and 11 rebounds per game, then collected his 24th double-double of the season. Embiid has never played both nights of a back-to-back in his career as Philadelphia has been cautious with him after he sat out his first two NBA seasons due to injuries, but he will apparently attempt to play on Saturday night in Indiana.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
76ers: PG - Ben Simmons, SG - J.J. Redick, SF - Robert Covington, PF - Dario Šarić, C - Joel Embiid

Injury Report

Pacers: Glenn Robinson III - out (left ankle surgery rehab), Myles Turner - questionable (sore right knee)

76ers: TBD

Coors Cold Hard Fact

En route to the 2000 NBA Finals, the top-seeded Pacers defeated the fourth-seeded 76ers 4-2 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Last Meeting

November 3, 2017: The Sixers made 18 3-pointers — eight by J.J. Redick — in a 121-110 win over the Pacers, spoiling a 31-point night from Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner's return after a seven-game absence due to a concussion.

"They were just tough down the stretch," Oladipo said after the loss. "J.J. hit a lot of big shots for them, obviously...It just feels like the ball kind of didn't bounce our way as it has been the past couple of games on the road."

Oladipo scored 23 of his 31 points in the second half and also collected five rebounds and seven assists on the evening. Bojan Bogdanović added 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting, Thaddeus Young had 15 points, and Sabonis contributed 14 points and six rebounds.

Redick scored 31 points while going 8-for-12 from beyond the arc and also dished out six assists. Robert Covington added 22 points for Philadelphia, while Joel Embiid had 18 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won seven straight home games against Philadelphia. The Sixers' last win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse was on April 17, 2013.
  • With a win on Saturday the 76ers would win the regular season series with the Pacers for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
  • The Pacers are 4-7 on the year when playing on the second night of a back-to-back and 1-3 when that game takes place at home.

Tickets

The Pacers return home to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night, Feb. 3 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

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 (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.

Pacers Team Store Game Night Special

Pacers City Edition Crew Fleece - $30. The Game Night Special can be purchased at the Pacers Team Store on game day, as well as online from 10:00 AM-Midnight. Order Online »