Game Preview: Pacers at 76ers
Monday, March 1, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Wells Fargo Center
The Pacers (15-17) continue a four-game road trip on Monday night in Philadelphia against Joel Embiid and the 76ers (22-12).
Indiana has dropped three straight contests by narrow margins. The Blue & Gold were within one possession in the final minute against each of Golden State, Boston, and New York, but in each game they failed to make one or two key plays down the stretch that might have changed the outcome.
Unfortunately for the Pacers, injuries are starting to pile up in the backcourt. Starting point guard Malcolm Brogdon missed Saturday's 110-107 loss to the Knicks with a sore right knee and sixth man Jeremy Lamb exited in the fourth quarter after hurting his left knee. Their absence meant a heavier workload for T.J McConnell, who played a career-high 46 minutes.
The 76ers have been in first place in the East for virtually the entire season, though they have scuffled somewhat lately, going 6-6 over their last 12 games. Philadelphia is now just a half-game ahead of Brooklyn and a game ahead of Milwaukee.
Philadelphia is led by All-NBA center Joel Embiid, who is one of the early frontrunners in the MVP race. The 7-foot center ranks second in NBA in scoring at 30 points per game and 10th in rebounding (11.3 per contest). He has been on a tear of late, scoring a career-high 50 points on Feb. 19 against Chicago and dropping 42 on Saturday night against Cleveland.
While the Sixers pose a formidable challenge against an Indiana team that has struggled to find its way into the win column, the Pacers are keeping their heads up.
We've got a positive group," McConnell said after Saturday's loss. "We've got a positive coach and a good coach. We're not overreacting. It is what it is. We've lost however many, but we're not going to let things pile on. We're going to move on to the next one and go get one in Philadelphia."
Pacers: PG - T.J. McConnell, SG - Justin Holiday, SF - Doug McDermott, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
76ers: PG - Ben Simmons, SG - Seth Curry, SF - Danny Green, PF - Furkan Korkmaz, C - Joel Embiid
Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon - questionable (sore right knee), Jeremy Lamb - questionable (sore left knee), Brian Bowen II - out (G League two-way contract), Jalen Lecque - out (G League assignment), Caris LeVert - out (medical condition), Cassius Stanley - out (G League two-way contract), T.J. Warren - out (left foot stress fracture)
76ers: Joel Embiid - questionable (sore left ankle), Tobias Harris - questionable (right knee contusion), Paul Reed - out (G League two-way contract), Rayjon Tucker - out (G League two-way contract)
Jan. 31, 2021: The Pacers led by as many as 20 points and led 104-88 with eight minutes to play. But Philadelphia switched to a 2-3 zone that stifled Indiana's offense, allowing the 76ers to reel off a 21-2 run to take the lead and stun the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 119-110.
"It was disruptive," Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren said of the zone. "We didn't make a shot out of it. I don't think we attacked it very well, either. They changed the game with it."
Malcolm Brogdon had a team-high 25 points for Indiana in the loss. Domantas Sabonis added 21 points and eight rebounds, while Aaron Holiday chipped in 17 points off the bench on 7-of-11 shooting.
Tobias Harris had 27 points and eight rebounds for the 76ers, who were without star center Joel Embiid due to back tightness. Ben Simmons added 21 points, six rebounds, and seven assists.
- The Pacers have lost their last two games at Philadelphia.
- The Pacers and 76ers will conclude their season series at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 11.
- Indiana's roster features three former Sixers: Justin Holiday (2013), T.J. McConnell (2015-19), and JaKarr Sampson (2014-16).
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (studio host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)