Pacers vs Celtics

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Game Preview: Pacers vs Celtics

Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 8:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Greg Rappaport
Pacers.com Writer
@Greg_Rappaport

Last Updated: Nov. 25 at 4:45 PM ET

Matchup

The Pacers are riding high.

After five consecutive wins, including an impressive second-half comeback against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night, Indiana faces its tallest test of the season: a matchup with the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics.

During their five-game winning streak, the Pacers (11-8) have shot the ball at a burning clip, making a league-best 47.1 percent of their 3-point shots.

In addition to the scorching shooting, Indiana has found its footing on defense during its streak, holding opponents to 101.8 points per 100 possessions — the 10th best mark in the league.

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With the Pacers playing at the highest level they've played all season, a meeting with Boston offers a perfect opportunity to measure up against one of the most dominant teams in the NBA.

Since starting the season 0-2 and losing All-Star forward Gordon Hayward to an ankle injury, the Celtics (17-3) have rattled off 17 wins in their last 18 games, including a statement victory over the defending champion Golden State Warriors last week.

During their stretch of brilliant play, the Celtics have leaned heavily on second-year forward Jaylen Brown (16.1 points per game) and rookie Jayson Tatum (14.2 points per contest). The tandem has helped create the NBA's top defense while Kyrie Irving — in his first year away from the Cavaliers — has been playing MVP-caliber basketball.

Slowing down Boston could be made even more difficult due to the uncertainty surrounding Victor Oladipo's knee. Indiana's leading scorer collided with a Raptors player during Friday's game and is listed as questionable for Saturday's showdown with Boston.

But whether Oladipo plays or not, the Pacers extending their season-best, five-game winning streak to six will be a tall order against a Celtics team that has lost only one game in the month of November.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Lance Stephenson, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Celtics: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Jaylen Brown, SF - Jayson Tatum, PF - Marcus Morris, C - Al Horford

Injury Report

Pacers: Victor Oladipo - out (bruised right knee), Glenn Robinson III - out (left ankle surgery rehabilitation), Edmond Sumner - out (left knee surgery rehabilitation)

Celtics: Gordon Hayward - out (left ankle fracture)

Last Meeting

March 22, 2017: Despite a late rally from Indiana, the Pacers fell 109-100 at the TD Garden in Boston to the Celtics.

Paul George led the team in scoring with 37 and helped spearhead what was nearly a Pacers comeback, but Boston was able to pull away late in the game.

For Boston, Isaiah Thomas had 25 points, while Al Horford contributed 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Avery Bradley scored 18 points for the Celtics.

Noteworthy

  • Al Jefferson was originally drafted by the Celtics with the 15th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and played for Boston from 2004-07.
  • Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was the head coach at Butler University in Indianapolis from 2007-2013.
  • The Celtics lead the all-time series 93-76, but the Pacers own a 51-33 edge during home games.

Tickets

The Pacers host Kyrie Irving and the East-leading Boston Celtics on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 8:00 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), Bobby "Slick" Leonard (analyst), 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 Performance Hooded Fleece - $35. This Game Night Special can only be purchased at the Pacers Team Store on game day.


Construction Note: The city's department of public works is replacing the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Street from just north of Georgia Street to Bankers Life Court. Portions of the sidewalk may be closed, but pedestrians should still have access to the Pennsylvania Street entrance of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.