Pacers at Celtics

Game Preview presented by Jiffy Lube

Game Preview: Pacers vs Celtics

Monday, December 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Matchup

After snapping a two-game skid with a 109-97 win on Sunday night in Brooklyn, the Pacers (17-13) head back to Indianapolis to host the East-leading Boston Celtics (25-7) on Monday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Pacers' offense had sputtered in losses last week to Oklahoma City and Detroit, but the Blue & Gold rediscovered their rhythm against the Nets. Indiana shot 56.6 percent from the field in Sunday's victory, with five different players scoring in double figures.

Perhaps the most significant development was the strong play the Pacers got from point guards Darren Collison and Cory Joseph, who combined for 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. Collison — who had averaged just 2.4 assists over his last four games — dished out seven dimes, while Joseph — who had scored just nine total points over his last three games — broke through with 15 points off the bench.

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The Pacers will need solid point guard play on Monday to keep pace with All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. In his first season with the Celtics after being dealt from Cleveland in a blockbuster trade this summer, Irving is an early-season MVP candidate, averaging 24.2 points and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 49.2 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from 3-point range.

Boston got off to a tremendous start to the season, winning 16 straight games at one point. But the Celtics have scuffled lately, dropping three of their last six contests, and have seen their lead over Cleveland at the top of the Eastern Conference standings dwindle to just 1.5 games.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Celtics: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Jaylen Brown, SF - Jayson Tatum, PF - Al Horford, C - Aron Baynes

Injury Report

Pacers: Myles Turner - questionable (sore right thigh), Glenn Robinson III - out (left ankle surgery rehabilitation), Edmond Sumner - out (left knee surgery rehabilitation)

Celtics: Gordon Hayward - out (left ankle fracture), Marcus Morris - out (left knee rehab), Daniel Theis - TBD (broken nose)

Last Meeting

November 25, 2017: The Celtics outscored the Pacers 37-16 in the third quarter on their way to a 108-98 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana was without leading scorer Victor Oladipo, who missed the game with a bruised right knee.

Myles Turner led the Pacers with 19 points and six rebounds, while Domantas Sabonis added 17 points and seven boards off the bench.

Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 25 points on 11-of-20 shooting and six assists. Al Horford added 21 points, five rebounds, and six assists for Boston.

Noteworthy

  • The Celtics have won their last four games against the Pacers, including three at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
  • Indiana is 2-4 this season when playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
  • Collison needs 15 points on Monday to reach 2,000 career points as a member of the Pacers.

Tickets

The Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to face Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics on Monday. Dec. 18 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/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), 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 Primary Logo Blanket - $20. 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 »