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Game Preview: Pacers vs Nuggets

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

The Pacers (25-51) close out their penultimate homestand of the season on Wednesday, when they welcome Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets (45-31) to Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

With the season winding down, Indiana has fielded makeshift lineups over the past few games. The Blue & Gold have had just eight available players over their past two contests and just nine in the two games prior to that.

Goga Bitadze (sore foot) returned to the lineup on Monday against Atlanta after a one-game absence and tallied 14 points, his eighth straight game in double figures. But Oshae Brissett, who had averaged 16.4 points and 7.4 rebounds over his past five games, was sidelined against the Hawks with a sore back.

Whoever is able to take the court against Denver will have their hands full trying to slow down the Nuggets. Denver is in a tight race in the Western Conference, trying to secure a top-six seed and avoid the Play-In Tournament.

Reigning NBA MVP Jokic has a great chance to repeat as winner of the league's top honors. The 27-year-old Serbian center ranks 10th in the league in scoring (26.3 points per game), second in rebounding (13.6), and eight in assists (8.0).

Projected Starters

Tyrese Haliburton

Tyrese Haliburton

Keifer Sykes

Keifer Sykes

Buddy Hield

Buddy Hield

Justin Anderson

Justin Anderson

Goga Bitadze

Goga Bitadze

Monte Morris

Monte Morris

Will Barton

Will Barton

Aaron Gordon

Aaron Gordon

Jeff Green

Jeff Green

Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic

Pacers: PG - Tyrese Haliburton, SG - Keifer Sykes, SF - Buddy Hield, PF - Justin Anderson, C - Goga Bitadze
Nuggets: PG - Monte Morris, SG - Will Barton, SF - Aaron Gordon, PF - Jeff Green, C - Clint Capela

Injury Report

Pacers: Goga Bitadze - questionable (sore right foot), Malcolm Brogdon - questionable (rest), Isaiah Jackson - questionable (headache), Duane Washington Jr. - questionable (bruised right hip), Chris Duarte - out (sore left toe), T.J. McConnell - out (right wrist ligament surgery), Ricky Rubio - out (torn left ACL), Myles Turner - out (left foot stress reaction), T.J. Warren – out (left navicular fracture)

Nuggets: JaMychal Green - questionable (right wrist sprain), Vlatko Cancar - out (right foot surgery), Jamal Murray - out (left knee injury recovery), Zeke Nnaji - out (bilateral knee soreness), Michael Porter Jr. - out (lumbar spine surgery)

Last Meeting

Nov. 10, 2021: The Pacers dropped a close-fought game in Denver, falling 101-98 to Will Barton and the Nuggets.

With Nikola Jokic serving a one-game suspension, Barton tallied a game-high 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting (6-of-9 from 3-point range), including the game-sealing layup with 27.8 seconds remaining.

"(We couldn't) get that last stop," Pacers guard T.J. McConnell said. "Will Barton had a really good night. And he made a big-time shot."

Malcolm Brogdon led Indiana with 25 points and five assists, while Domantas Sabonis added 20 points and 19 rebounds. McConnell chipped in 16 points and nine assists off the bench..

Noteworthy

  • With a win on Wednesday, the Nuggets would sweep the season series with Indiana for the second straight season.
  • Buddy Hield passed Brent Barry for 50th place on the career 3-point list on Monday. With three more 3-pointers, Hield will reach 1,400 for his career.
  • Jokic has 82 career triple-doubles, five shy of Wilt Chamberlain's record for most by a center.

Tickets

The Pacers welcome Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets to Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: Bally 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), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)