Pacers vs Cavaliers

Game Preview: Pacers vs Cavaliers

Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Greg Rappaport
Pacers.com Writer
@Greg_Rappaport

Last Updated: Feb. 9 at 11:11 AM ET

Matchup

Just one week ago, the Pacers were reeling after suffering their fourth consecutive loss, a defeat to the Orlando Magic.

But what a difference a week can make.

Since the January 31 loss, the Pacers have opened up the month of February on an absolute tear, winning four straight games and opening up their homestand with blowout victories over the Lakers and Clippers.

Now the Pacers (36-19) look to continue their winning ways as they face off with the visiting Cavaliers (11-44) on Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Over the last two games, Indiana's offense has been dialed in. The Pacers followed up a season-high 69-point first half against the Lakers with a new season-high 71 against the Clippers.

"We've been connected. Defensively, we've been playing well. Offensively, we've got good ball movement and guys knocking down shots," head coach Nate McMillan explained. "We found our rhythm."

With the Cavs coming to town, the Pacers need to take advantage of a team that is in the cellar of the Eastern Conference and will be playing the second night of a back-to-back on Saturday.

But as the Pacers learned the hard way in December, the Cavaliers are not a team that can be taken lightly, as Cleveland escaped Bankers Life Fieldhouse with a buzzer-beating tip-in from forward Larry Nance Jr., which snapped what was then a seven-game winning streak.

The Pacers recovered from that loss, and soon after began another seven-game win streak, showcasing the resiliency of this year's group.

"We know that we are a good team. Even after those four games that we lost, we kept believing in each other," said Bojan Bogdanovic. "We stayed together. A lot of teams would've fallen apart or started to blame each other, but we stayed together and we showed, once again, how good we are and how good of chemistry we have."

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Tyreke Evans, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Cavaliers: PG - Collin Sexton, SG - Matthew Dellavedova, SF - David Nwaba, PF - Deng Adel, C - Ante Zizic

Injury Report

Pacers: Doug McDermott - out (rib injury), Victor Oladipo - out (right knee surgery)

Cavaliers: John Henson - out (left wrist surgery), Cedi Osman - out (right ankle sprain), JR Smith - NWT (personal), Tristan Thompson - out (left foot soreness), Kevin Love - questionable (questionable)

Last Meeting

January 8, 2019: The Pacers took to the road and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning 123-115 in a game that got interesting in the final minutes.

Despite leading by 20 points or more for much of the night, the Cavs were able to get the score down to a single-digit deficit in the final five minutes.

But just as Cleveland got it down to five, Victor Oladipo stepped up big, drilling a 3-pointer to inflate Indiana's lead as the team was able to cruise to victory from there.

Thaddeus Young led the Pacers in scoring with 26 points. Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 23 points, and Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and nine rebounds.

Cleveland was led by 26 points off the bench from Jordan Clarkson. Cedi Osman and Tristan Thompson each scored 15.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers lead the all-time series with the Cavaliers 99-93
  • Saturday's game will be the final meeting between the teams this season, with Indiana looking to close out their season series with a 3-1 record
  • Cleveland's Tristan Thompson was teammates with Pacers guard Cory Joseph at the University of Texas (2010-11), and forward Kevin Love was teammates with guard Darren Collison at UCLA (2007-08)

Tickets

The Pacers continue their five-game homestand by hosting rookie Collin Sexton and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, Feb. 9 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/1070 AM 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.

IUPUI Night

Saturday's game is IUPUI Night, and the first 3,000 fans in attendance will receive a co-branded light up necklace courtesy of IUPUI.

Pacers Team Store Game Night Special

Sideline Hooded Fleece and Chevron Hooded 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 »

Related Content