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Game Preview: Pacers vs 76ers

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

Hoping to snap a season-long losing streak of seven games, the Pacers host the playoff-bound Philadelphia 76ers in their final contest at Gainbridge Fieldhouse this season. Indiana has already picked up a victory over Philadelphia this season back in November.

While Indiana’s season is close to an end, the squad has a chance to make the Eastern Conference Playoff picture even messier when they take on the Sixers. As of Monday morning, Philadelphia is tied with the third-seeded Milwaukee Bucks but resides in fourth due to the NBA's tiebreakers.

Each team underwent significant changes since the last time these two teams met. Blue & Gold fans saw the front office take their team in a younger direction by planning and building for the future. Meanwhile, the Sixers viewed the rest of the season with a “win now” approach. That is what led to the trading of Ben Simmons for James Harden on February 10.

Harden (22.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 9.8 assists per game) has added an element of elite scoring that the Sixers have lacked with other point guards. In fact, before Sunday’s game against the Cavaliers, their starting unit of Matisse Thybule, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and Harden had scored a league-best 718 points since February 24. Embiid (44 points) and Harden (21) added 65 more to that total after the Cavaliers game alone.

With an elite center and guard coming to Gainbridge Fieldhouse, this game allows Tyrese Haliburton and Isaiah Jackson to test their skills against some of the best in the game right now. This is especially true for Jackson, who could see his playing time increase with Goga Bitadze still dealing with a sore right foot. Embiid’s seven-foot, 280-pound frame and overall versatility will make Jackson work on every defensive possession. However, while the five-time All-Star may have a size advantage, Pacers fans know Jackson’s raw athleticism and speed occasionally make up for it during games.

Projected Starters

Tyrese Haliburton

Tyrese Haliburton

Buddy Hield

Buddy Hield

Oshae Brissett

Oshae Brissett

Terry Taylor

Terry Taylor

Isaiah Jackson

Isaiah Jackson

Tyrese Maxey

Tyrese Maxey

James Harden

James Harden

Matisse Thybulle

Matisse Thybulle

Tobias Harris

Tobias Harris

Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid

Pacers: PG - Tyrese Haliburton, SG - Buddy Hield, SF - Oshae Brissett, PF - Terry Taylor, C - Isaiah Jackson
76ers: PG - Tyrese Maxey, SG - James Harden, SF - Matisse Thybulle, PF - Tobias Harris, C - Joel Embiid

Injury Report

Pacers: Goga Bitadze - questionable (sore right foot), Malcolm Brogdon - questionable (sore lower back), Chris Duarte - questionable (sore left toe), T.J. McConnell - questionable (right wrist ligament surgery), Ricky Rubio - out (torn left ACL), Myles Turner - out (left foot stress reaction), T.J. Warren – out (left navicular fracture)

76ers: None

Last Meeting

Nov. 13, 2021: Showing no signs of fatigue after a four-game Western Conference road trip, the Pacers built a 20 point lead over the 76ers in the first half. When Philadelphia made a charge in the second half, T.J. McConnell and company took care of business to secure a 118-113 victory at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Philadelphia had climbed to within five points of the lead with 2:57 remaining, but McConnell then went to work. He started with a runner after Andre Drummond committed an offensive foul.

Tobias Harris scored for the Sixers on the next possession. But again, McConnell had an answer. He drove left and hit one of his patented baseline jumpers. When Harris failed to respond, McConnell took to the house for his third straight field goal. The run pushed the lead to 10 with 1:16 remaining.

In total, six Pacers scored in double figures. Justin Holiday led the way with a team-high 27 points, shooting 9-of-11 from the floor and 6-of-8 from deep. Myles Turner tallied 20 points and six blocks, and Domantas Sabonis recorded 18 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists. Malcolm Brogdon also captured his first triple-double as a Pacer, finishing with 13 points, 10 boards, and 10 assists.

Harris had a game-high 32 points and 11 boards to lead Philadelphia. Tyrese Maxey added 24. All five Sixers scored in double figures, but nobody from their bench scored more than eight points.

Noteworthy

  • Philadelphia leads the all-time regular-season series, 103-84
  • Pacers forward Isaiah Jackson and Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey both played college basketball for the University of Kentucky
  • Pacers coach Rick Carlisle has a 30-18 record in the regular season when coaching against the Sixers

Tickets

In their final home game of the season, the Pacers host the Philadelphia 76ers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse for Fan Appreciation Night presented by Kroger on Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & 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)