Game Preview: Pacers vs Pelicans
Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 7:30 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Mired in a four-game skid, the Pacers (31-21) are hoping to get back into the win column on Saturday night, when they host the New Orleans Pelicans (21-31) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Indiana is coming off a 115-106 loss to the Raptors on Friday, their second loss in three nights to a red-hot Toronto team that has won 13 straight games. The Blue & Gold had a good chance to win both games against the Raptors, but blew up a 10-point lead in the final three minutes on Wednesday in Toronto and then committed 20 turnovers (one shy of their season high) on Friday.
Two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo had 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting and four assists on Friday, his best performance in five games this season, but he won't be available on Saturday against the Pelicans. Oladipo is not cleared to play on back-to-back nights yet as the Pacers manage his workload coming back from a year-long absence with a ruptured quad tendon.
The Pacers may, however, get starting forward T.J. Warren back on Saturday. The 6-8 forward has missed the past three games due to a concussion, but is progressing through the league's protocol and is hoping to be back in uniform soon. Indiana could use Warren's 18.1 points per game against New Orleans' high-powered offensive attack.
The main attraction on the Pelicans is rookie sensation Zion Williamson. The 6-6, 284-pound forward was the number one overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, but his professional debut didn't come until Jan. 22 after undergoing a knee procedure in October. Despite the late start, Williamson has looked sharp in his first eight career games, scoring 20 or more points six times and averaging 19.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2 assists while shooting 57.4 percent from the field.
The Pelicans are 4-4 with Williamson on the floor and have seen their offensive rating jump from 109.8 points per 100 possessions prior to his debut to 112.4 since. An injury update on Saturday morning listed Williamson as questionable with a left ankle sprain.
Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Jeremy Lamb, SF - T.J. Warren, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Pelicans: PG - Lonzo Ball, SG - Jrue Holiday, SF - Brandon Ingram, PF - Zion Williamson, C - Derrick Favors
Pacers: T.J. Warren - questionable (concussion), Victor Oladipo - out (right knee injury recovery)
Pelicans: Zion Williamson - questionable (left ankle sprain), Brandon Ingram - doubtful (right ankle sprain), Darius Miller - out (right Achilles surgery), Kenrich Williams - out (right lower back soreness)
December 28, 2019: The Pacers raced out to a 32-19 lead after one quarter in New Orleans, but were outscored by 35 points the rest of the way, ultimately falling to the Pelicans on the second night of a back-to-back, 120-98.
The Pelicans held Indiana to just 13 points in the second quarter and then scored 38 in the third to put essentially put the game away.
"It was just effort...effort and being focused," Pacers forward Justin Holiday said. "I think we played hard, but I don't think we were locked in like we needed to be. Regardless if it was a back-to-back or not, we get paid to do this job and we've got to come out and do it. We didn't tonight."
Pacers guard Aaron Holiday led all scorers with 25 points, going 4-for-6 from 3-point range in the loss. T.J. Warren added 20 points, while Domantas Sabonis had 15 points, 16 rebounds, and four assists for Indiana.
Brandon Ingram led seven Pelicans in double figures with 24 points and also dished out seven assists. Jrue Holiday added 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting and seven dimes for New Orleans.
- The Pacers are 24-15 all-time against New Orleans, including a 12-7 record in Indianapolis.
- Pacers guard Aaron Holiday, forward Justin Holiday, and Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday became the first trio of brothers to play in the same game in NBA history on Dec. 28 in New Orleans.
- Pacers head coach Nate McMillan's son Jamelle is an assistant for the Pelicans under head coach Alvin Gentry.
- Indiana is 3-4 on the season when playing on the second night of a back-to-back, but 2-1 at home.
The Pacers host Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on the second night of a back-to-back on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Find Tickets »
Saturday's game is the third Hickory night of the season. Legendary college coaches Gene Keady and Bob Knight are the Hickory Honorees and will be recognized in a special halftime ceremony. Learn More »
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), Pat Boylan (studio host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.