Pacers at Celtics

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Game Preview: Pacers at Celtics

Friday, February 9, 2018 at 7:30 PM ET at TD Garden
by Greg Rappaport
Pacers.com Writer
@Greg_Rappaport

Last Updated: Feb. 9 at 12:00 PM ET

Matchup

After having the first game of their road trip postponed due to a roof leaf on Wednesday, the Pacers head to Boston to take on Celtics, owners of the best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Pacers enter the matchup as winners of 11 of their last 17 games, lifting them to a 30-25 record.

Victor Oladipo, who missed Indiana's loss to Washington with illness was healthy enough to play on Wednesday, but never got a chance to take the court due to the roof leak.

In Oladipo's last game against Boston, the Pacers' leading scorer had one of his finest games of the season, pouring in 38 points, 14 of which came in the fourth quarter.

But despite Oladipo's best efforts, the Pacers suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of Boston, with Terry Rozier stealing a pass and taking it the length of the court for a game-winning slam.

Rozier's sticky fingers make up just one part of Boston's stifling defense. The Celtics currently lead the league in defensive rating, holding opponents to just 100.1 points per 100 possessions (Per NBA.com/stats).

The top tier defense will be a stiff challenge for Indiana's sixth-ranked offense, especially without the services of starting point guard Darren Collison, who recently underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

Prior to his procedure, Collison was averaging career-bests in 3-point shooting (43.2%) and field goal percentage (49.5%).

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Cory Joseph, 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: TJ Leaf - out (sore left calf), Darren Collison - out (left knee arthroscopic surgery), Glenn Robinson III - out (left ankle surgery rehab)

Celtics: Gordon Hayward - out (left ankle rehabilitation), Shane Larkin - out (right knee soreness), Marcus Smart - out (right hand laceration)

Last Meeting

December 18, 2017: In one of their toughest losses of the season, the Pacers fell in the final seconds to the Boston Celtics on a Terry Rozier fastbreak dunk to cap a 112-111 Boston win.

"You just have to execute," said Pacers head coach Nate McMillan at the postgame podium. "We talked about this at the beginning of the game, against a group like this, very physical team, number one defensive team in the league and you have to use each other, you have to set screens and be strong with the ball. It really took us to the second half to play against that defense. It's a 48-minute game and you have to execute all 48 minutes. We lost our composure."

Victor Oladipo finished with a game-high 38 points, including 30 in the second half and 14 in the fourth quarter.

Noteworthy

  • Al Jefferson was originally drafted by the Celtics with the 15th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and played for the Celtics from 2004-07.
  • The Celtics lead the all-time series 95-76 and have won the last five games on the matchup.
  • Boston leads the NBA in opponent field goal percentage, holding opponents to 43.2 percent.

Tickets

After a two-game road trip, the Pacers return home for a Hickory matchup with the New York Knicks. The action tips off on Sunday at 5:00 PM ET. The Pacers will honor the legendary coach Tony Hinkle at halftime. 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), Austin Croshere (analyst), Pat Boylan (studio host)

Away Game Night Special

Pacers Retro Logo Hat - $12. Game Night Specials can be purchased online the day of each away game from 10:00 AM - Midnight. Order Online »