Game Preview: Pacers vs Cavaliers (Preseason)
Friday, October 15, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse
The Pacers close out preseason play on Friday night with one final exhibition at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Indiana will host the Cavaliers for the second meeting this preseason between the two Central Division rivals. Indiana prevailed, 109-100, last Friday in Cleveland.
Friday's game will be the final tune-up before Indiana opens the regular season next Wednesday in Charlotte. Head coach Rick Carlisle will look to balance getting his rotation players meaningful game reps with trying to stay as healthy as possible entering the season, particularly with several players battling nagging injuries. Malcolm Brogdon (shoulder), Justin Holiday (ankle), and Kelan Martin (hamstring) all sat out Wednesday's preseason win over Memphis, joining an injury report that already included Caris LeVert (back) and T.J. Warren (foot).
There were several bright spots in Wednesday's win, but perhaps the biggest storyline was the continued strong play of rookie guard Chris Duarte. The 13th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft started his second straight contest and played 36 minutes, tallying 21 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block.
"(I give) thanks to my teammates and my coaches," Duarte said of his strong play. "They give me the confidence to go out there and just play my game — and be myself. That's my mentality."
Friday will also be the last chance for players to stake their claim to a spot in Carlisle's rotation. For instance, veteran guard Brad Wanamaker, who signed with Indiana last week, is hoping to stick on the roster as the third point guard. Wanamaker got a good opportunity on Wednesday, logging 26 minutes and tallying four points, six rebounds, and two assists.
Pacers: PG - T.J. McConnell, SG - Chris Duarte, SF - Torrey Craig, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Cavaliers: PG - Ricky Rubio, SG - Isaac Okoro, SF - Lauri Markkanen, PF - Evan Mobley, C - Jarrett Allen
Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon - doubtful (Grade 1 left AC sprain), Kelan Martin - doubtful (sore left hamstring), Justin Holiday – out (left ankle sprain), Caris LeVert – out (sore back), T.J. Warren – out (left foot stress fracture)
Cavaliers: Cedi Osman - questionable (sore lower back), Dylan Windler - questionable (sore right hip)
Oct. 8, 2021: Malcolm Brogdon scored 27 points to lead the Pacers to a 109-100 preseason victory in Cleveland.
Brogdon went 12-for-14 from the field in 28 minutes while also tallying five rebounds, three assists, and a steal in the victory. Domantas Sabonis added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana, while Myles Turner and rookie Chris Duarte chipped in 11 points apiece.
The victory was the first of the preseason for the Pacers, who fell in New York in their opening exhibition three days earlier.
"I think we improved a lot, on a lot of things, especially on the defensive end," Sabonis said. "(We were) being more aggressive and setting the tone."
Ricky Rubio had a team-high 14 points for Cleveland, while Dylan Windler added 12 points in the loss.
- The Pacers and Cavs will meet four times in the regular season, facing off in Cleveland on Jan. 2 and Feb. 6 and at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Feb. 11 and March 8.
- Indiana has won five straight and 11 of its last 14 regular season games against the Cavs.
- Cleveland's training camp roster features two Indianapolis natives: Kyle Guy (Lawrence Central) and Dylan Windler (Perry Meridian).
The Pacers host Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat for Opening Night presented by Gainbridge on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7:00 PM ET. Secure your seats today and help fill Gainbridge Fieldhouse to cheer on your Pacers. 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)