Pacers vs Hawks

Game Preview: Pacers vs Hawks

Friday, November 29, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss





Matchup

The Pacers (11-6) will look to sweep a four-game homestand when they host the Atlanta Hawks (4-14) on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

With Malcolm Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb back in the starting backcourt, Indiana's offense has been firing on all cylinders lately. The Blue & Gold have shot over 50 percent from the field in three straight contests and scored 111 or more points in four consecutive games.

In Indiana's 121-102 win over Utah on Wednesday, three players topped 20 points (Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, and T.J. Warren) and Lamb just missed out on joining them, finishing with 18 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.

While the offense is rolling, the Pacers still want to get starting center Myles Turner more involved. The 6-11 big man has only averaged 8.5 points over his last four games, taking just 11 total shots over his past two contests. Turner is still contributing, blocking 2.6 shots per game and shooting a team-best 45.9 percent from 3-point range, but Turner and his teammates want to take better advantage of his skillset on the offensive end.

"I've got to get myself going," Turner said Wednesday. "Just find a way. The offense we have, guys have to sacrifice some shots. I'm sacrificing a little bit. It's time for me to find my way back in a little bit."

The Hawks were considered by some to be a darkhouse contender for a playoff spot this season thanks to their young core, but things haven't gone as planned in the ATL. Third-year forward John Collins is serving a 25-game suspension for violating the NBA's anti-drug program. The Hawks have won just two of 13 contests since Collins' suspension was announced on Nov. 5 and enter Friday's game mired in an eight-game losing streak.

The one bright spot for the Hawks this season has been the stellar play of second-year point guard Trae Young. The fifth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft looks like a potential All-Star, ranking sixth in the NBA in scoring at 26.7 points per game and third in assists at 8.6 per contest.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Jeremy Lamb, SF - T.J. Warren, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Hawks: PG - Trae Young, SG - Cam Reddish, SF - De'Andre Hunter, PF - Jabari Parker, C - Damian Jones

Injury Report

Pacers: JaKarr Sampson - doubtful (sore back), Victor Oladipo - out (right knee surgery rehab), Edmond Sumner - out (right hand fracture)

Hawks: Cam Reddish - questionable (left wrist sprain), John Collins - out (league suspension), Kevin Huerter - out (left rotator cuff strain)

Last Meeting

April 10, 2019: Edmond Sumner made three free throws after the final buzzer to lift Indiana to a dramatic 135-134 win over the Hawks in Atlanta on the final night of the regular season.

Taurean Prince's 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining had given Atlanta the lead. On the other end, Sumner was fouled while attempting a three from the corner as the buzzer sounded.

"He was very aggressive, and he hit big free throws," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. "It reminded me of the NCAA game, where we get fouled and then you have to step up and make three, and all three were solid."

With their playoff seed set, the Pacers rested four starters in the game and fifth starter Darren Collison sat out the second half. TJ Leaf led the Blue & Gold with a career-high 28 points on 12-of-19 shooting and also pulled down 10 rebounds. Tyreke Evans added 27 points and five assists, while Sumner tallied 22 points off the bench.

Trae Young had 23 points and 11 assists for Atlanta and Prince also scored 23. John Collins had a monster night, collecting 20 points, 25 rebounds, and six assists.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won five straight home games against Atlanta. The Hawks' last win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse was on Nov. 23, 2016.
  • Indiana won all four games against the Hawks last season, sweeping the season series with Atlanta for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign.
  • Hawks forward Vince Carter is in his 22nd NBA season, the most seasons played in league history. Should the 42-year-old Carter appear in any games in 2020, he will be the first player ever to play an NBA game in four different decades.

Tickets

The Pacers wrap up their four-game homestand by hosting Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday, Nov. 29 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: 93.5/107.5 FM/1070 AM 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.

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