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Game Preview: Pacers at Pelicans

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

The Pacers (17-30) have a chance to secure a winning road trip on Monday night, when they wrap up a five-game Western Conference trip in New Orleans against the Pelicans (17-28).

Facing a difficult slate and a rash of injuries out West, the Blue & Gold managed to go 2-2 over the last week, knocking off the Lakers and Warriors on their home court. They even fought admirably on Saturday night in Phoenix, hanging tight into the second half against the NBA's best team despite having four starters out due to injury.

The Pacers will still be without Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles), Domantas Sabonis (ankle), and Myles Turner (foot), but Caris LeVert could potentially be back on the court after missing two games with a sore right calf. LeVert's return would be especially welcome considering the last time Pacers fans saw him he set a franchise record with 22 fourth-quarter points to lead Indiana over the Lakers.

The Blue & Gold will take on a rested Pelicans team on Monday night. New Orleans has only played once in the past week, picking up a 102-91 win on Thursday night in New York.

The Pelicans are led by All-Star swingman Brandon Ingram, who averages 22.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game. Ingram's availability is uncertain, however, as he sat out the fourth quarter of their win over the Knicks after spraining his ankle.

If Ingram can't go, expect New Orleans to rely more heavily on center Jonas Valanciunas. The Lithuanian big man is second on the team in scoring (18.4 points per game) and fourth in the NBA in rebounding (12.0 per contest). He has evolved into a legitimate 3-point shooting threat in recent years as well and is knocking down 41.7 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc this season.

Projected Starters

Keifer Sykes

Keifer Sykes

Chris Duarte

Chris Duarte

Justin Holiday

Justin Holiday

Torrey Craig

Torrey Craig

Goga Bitadze

Goga Bitadze

Devonte' Graham

Devonte' Graham

Josh Hart

Josh Hart

Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram

Herbert Jones

Herbert Jones

Jonas Valaciunas

Jonas Valaciunas

Pacers: PG - Keifer Sykes, SG - Chris Duarte, SF - Justin Holiday, PF - Torrey Craig, C - Goga Bitadze
Pelicans: PG - Devonte' Graham, SG - Josh Hart, SF - Brandon Ingram, PF - Herbert Jones, C - Jonas Valaciunas

Injury Report

Pacers: Caris LeVert - questionable (sore right calf), Malcolm Brogdon - out (sore right Achilles), T.J. McConnell - out (health and safety protocols), Domantas Sabonis - out (left ankle sprain), Myles Turner - out (left foot stress reaction), T.J. Warren – out (left navicular fracture)

Pelicans: Brandon Ingram - questionable (sprained right ankle), Kira Lewis Jr. - out (right knee ACL/MCL sprain), Zion Williamson - out (right foot fracture)

Last Meeting

Nov. 20, 2021: The Pacers bounced back from an 0-3 road trip by walloping the Pelicans at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, 111-94. The Blue & Gold jumped out to a 17-point lead midway through the first quarter and built it to 32 by the end of the third quarter, rolling to an easy win.

Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists in just 22 minutes. Justin Holiday, who replaced Chris Duarte in the starting lineup, added 17 points while going 4-for-7 from 3-point range. Malcolm Brogdon chipped in 16 points and four assists, while Myles Turner added 11 points, nine boards, and two blocks.

"We wanted to play a real movement kind of random game," Pacers head coach Carlisle said. "When the ball moves and we're playing with that kind of pace and tempo, a lot of good things happen for us. The key is to be aggressive and not frantic."

Jonas Valanciunas had a team-high 19 points and 13 rebounds for New Orleans in the loss. Naji Marshall added 14 points, while Lewis and Ingram both scored 12.

Noteworthy

  • With a win on Monday, the Pacers would sweep the season series with the Pelicans for the second time in the past four years.
  • Valanciunas and Sabonis are teammates on the Lithuanian national team.
  • Pacers guard Jeremy Lamb was teammates with Pelicans guard Devonte' Graham in Charlotte in 2018-19.

Tickets

After a five-game Western Conference road trip, the Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Gordon Hayward and the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, Jan. 26 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 (studio host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)