Pacers vs Magic

Turner on Hand Injury, Defensive Player of Year

Jan. 21, 2021 - Pacers center Myles Turner and coach Nate Bjorkgren speak about the avulsion fracture in Turner's right hand and his early season candidacy for Defensive Player of the Year.

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Turner on Hand Injury, Defensive Player of Year

Jan. 21, 2021 - Pacers center Myles Turner and coach Nate Bjorkgren speak about the avulsion fracture in Turner's right hand and his early season candidacy for Defensive Player of the Year.
Jan 21, 2021  |  02:44

Game Preview: Pacers vs Magic

Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

After a tough loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night, the Pacers (8-6) set their sights on defeating the Orlando Magic (7-8) on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Much like Indiana, Orlando has had to deal with some unexpected injuries early in the season. After a 6-2 start, the Magic have hit a bit of a slump, losing six of their last seven. The downward trend started after the team lost starting point guard Markelle Fultz for the season from a torn ACL in his left knee on Jan. 6 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Nonetheless, Orlando has the talent to keep Indiana on its toes throughout the game. Rookie Cole Anthony has shown flashes of greatness, including drilling a 3-pointer with no time remaining to knock off the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. 3-point specialist Evan Fournier also notched 24 points in his return after a nine-game absence.

Additionally, after giving up a season-high 68 points in the paint to the Mavericks, the Pacers must now deal with arguably one of the most underrated centers in the league in Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic, the nine-year veteran from USC, is averaging a double-double on the season (23.3 points, 10.8 rebounds). The Swiss-born big man has been lethal from beyond the arc this season as well, connecting on 42.6 percent of his chances from deep. With Myles Turner still sidelined, other Pacers frontcourt players must find a way to step up to limit Vucevic's effectiveness.

While fighting the injury bug, the Blue & Gold have found ways to produce on offense behind the efforts of Malcolm Brogdon. Through 15 games Brogdon is averaging 22.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 7.3 assists. If he continues this trend for the season, they will all set new career highs. Look for Brogdon to create space against Orlando’s less-experienced guards.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Edmond Sumner, SF - Justin Holiday, PF - Doug McDermott, C - Domantas Sabonis
Magic: PG - Cole Anthony, SG - Dwayne Bacon, SF - James Ennis III, PF - Aaron Gordon, C - Nikola Vucevic

Injury Report

Pacers: Myles Turner - questionable (right hand avulsion fracture), Caris LeVert - not available (medical condition), T.J. Warren - out (left foot stress fracture)

Magic: Michael Carter-Williams – questionable (left foot sprain), Al-Farouq Aminu – out (knee surgery recovery), Mohamed Bamba – out (health and safety protocols), Markelle Fultz – out (left knee torn ACL), Jonathan Isaac – out (left knee injury recovery), Chuma Okeke – out (left knee bone bruise)

Last Meeting

Aug. 4, 2020: The Pacers picked up a 120-109 win over the Magic in the Orlando bubble behind a third consecutive impressive performance from T.J. Warren. After scoring a career-best 53 points and following that with another 34, Warren stayed hot against the Magic. The former NC State guard tallied 32 more on 13-of-17 shooting. He connected on his first eight shots of the game.

Myles Turner added to the point party, recording 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Victor Oladipo notched 13 points, five boards, and two steals in the victory.

Warren and company started the game hot and maintained a steady lead throughout the majority of the game. The Blue & Gold started the game with 10 unanswered points and earned a 19-3 lead in less than five minutes of game time. Indiana managed to grab a 26-point, first-half lead before Orlando rattled off a 12-2 run to dwindle it down a bit. However, a pair of treys from Turner boosted the squad's lead to 21 before halftime.

An attempted Magic comeback was thwarted by a 10-2 Indiana run late in the third quarter, and the team cruised relatively easily to the victory for the remainder of the game. The Blue & Gold shot 54.8 percent from the floor in the victory.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana has split the last six meetings with the Magic, but have won 22 of the last 27 overall.
  • Nine Pacers averaged double figures over three games against the Orlando Magic during the 2019-20 season.
  • Two Pacers are tied for the best all-time scoring performance against the Magic with 38 points. Jermaine O’Neal tallied 38 on Jan. 15, 2005, while Reggie Miller hit 38 twice against Orlando (April 6, 1990, and April 2, 1994).

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for upcoming Pacers home games from Jan. 24 through March 4 are now on sale. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »

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 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)





by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

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