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Game Preview: Pacers vs Pelicans

Last Updated: Dec. 23 at 11:30 a.m.

Matchup

     

After a three-game Western Conference road trip, the Pacers (9-19) return to the friendly confines of Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host the New Orleans Pelicans (14-13).

The Blue-and-Gold are coming off a Jekyll-and-Hyde weekend. The Pacers shot a season-low 31 percent in Saturday's 76-73 loss in Denver, only to set a season high the next night, making 50 percent of their shots in a 100-96 win over Minnesota.

Tuesday's game presents yet another challenge in what's turned out to be a brutal December schedule for the Pacers. The much-improved Pelicans have a winning record in the ultra-competitive Western Conference and are coming off an impressive victory in Oklahoma City on Sunday night.

New Orleans is led by emerging superstar Anthony Davis. The 21-year-old forward is already arguably the best big man in the entire league. He ranks third in the NBA in scoring (24.7 points per game) and leads the league in blocks (2.9 per contest). Davis is coming off a virtuoso performance against the Thunder, scoring 38 points on 16-of-22 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds and three blocks.

Aside from Davis, three other Pelicans players average 15 or more points per game. Combo guard Tyreke Evans averages 16.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 5.7 assists. Sharpshooter Ryan Anderson contributes 15.6 points per game off the bench. Point guard Jrue Holiday chips in 15.4 points while also dishing out 7.3 assists. Defending the Pelicans' multi-faceted attack will be the Pacers' major challenge on Tuesday night.

Indiana will regain the services of starting point guard George Hill on Tuesday. Hill has not played in the regular season due to a knee contusion but has been practicing with the team over the last few weeks and was upgraded to "questionable" on Monday. Head coach Frank Vogel said the plan is to bring Hill off the bench for now to keep his minutes down as he tries to find his rhythm and conditioning.

Projected Starters

C.J. Watson

C.J. Watson

Rodney Stuckey

Rodney Stuckey

Solomon Hill

Solomon Hill

David West

David West

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday

Tyreke Evans

Tyreke Evans

Luke Babbitt

Luke Babbitt

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

Omer Asik

Omer Asik

Pacers: PG - C.J. Watson, SG - Rodney Stuckey, SF - Solomon Hill, PF - David West, C - Roy Hibbert
Pelicans: PG - Jrue Holiday, SG - Tyreke Evans, SF - Luke Babbitt, PF - Anthony Davis, C - Omer Asik

Injury Report

Pacers: Paul George - out (rehabilitation, fractured right tibia/fibula), Ian Mahinmi - out (torn left plantar fascia), Damjan Rudez - out (upper respiratory infection)

Pelicans: Pelicans – Eric Gordon - out (left shoulder subluxation)

Last Meeting

January 4, 2014: The Pacers outscored the Pelicans 30-12 in the third quarter en route to a comfortable 99-82 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Paul George had 24 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists to lead Indiana. Lance Stephenson added 19 points, Danny Granger contributed 13, and George Hill had 10.

Eric Gordon led New Orleans with 21 points. Alexis Ajinca added 17 points and seven rebounds.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana leads the overall series with New Orleans 17-11, including an 8-6 edge at home.
  • The Pacers have won five straight games against New Orleans overall. The Pelicans have lost four consecutive games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with their last win in Indianapolis coming on Jan. 16, 2010.
  • Pacers point guard Donald Sloan appeared in three regular season games with New Orleans in both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.
  • Injured Pelicans guard Eric Gordon starred at North Central High School, where he was named "Mr. Basketball" in 2007, and played one season at Indiana University before turning pro.

Broadcast Information

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5/1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)

Tickets

Good seats still remain for Tuesday's game against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. Plus, pay zero fees for any tickets purchased online through December 31, courtesy of FOX Sports Indiana. Find Tickets »