Pacers vs Raptors

Game Preview: Pacers vs Raptors

Friday, November 26, 2021 at 8:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

After a tough overtime loss to the Lakers, the Pacers (8-12) continue their homestand with a contest against the Toronto Raptors (9-10) on Friday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

The squads already know each other well, as this will be the third time they will face off against each other this season. Toronto has taken both matchups, with their defensive length giving Indiana issues on the offensive end. Coming into this contest, Toronto will be playing inspired. Despite losing six of their last nine, Toronto mounted a comeback to steal a 126-113 win from the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday. They trailed 71-59 at the half, but rallied as all five starters finished with a combined 100 points on 54.4 percent shooting from the floor.

Meanwhile, Indiana will be playing with a bit of inspiration as well. Rookie Chris Duarte hit the biggest shot of his career — a baseline three — to force an overtime period against LeBron James and the Lakers. Duarte hit the shot while falling to his left over the outstretched arm of Avery Bradley after a bit of contact. After the game, he earned praise from James, who stated Duarte was "big time" and that "Indy got a good one."

But like the Pacers, a star rookie has emerged for the Raptors early this season. With the fourth pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Toronto selected Florida State forward Scottie Barnes. Since then, the 6-9 rookie has given the Raptors a lift in productivity. Barnes ranks first among all rookies in scoring (14.8 points per game), rebounds (8.4), and minutes (35.1). He also ranks third with a 48.6 percent field goal percentage.

The Blue & Gold will have to be mindful of their ball security when facing the Raptors this time around. Indiana committed a season-high 22 turnovers during the first contest and tallied another 18 in the second. Through 19 games, Toronto ranks second in the NBA in points off turnovers (20.7), while surrendering a seventh-lowest 14.9 to its opponents. If Indiana limits its turnovers, they have a decent chance to pull off the victory. The squad is 3-0 at home this season when committing fewer turnovers than their opponent.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Caris LeVert, SF - Justin Holiday, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Raptors: PG - Fred VanVleet, SG - Gary Trent Jr., SF - Scottie Barnes, PF - Pascal Siakam, C - Precious Achiuwa

Injury Report

Pacers: T.J. Warren – out (left foot stress fracture)

Raptors: OG Anunoby – questionable (left hip soreness), Khem Birch – questionable (right knee soreness)

Last Meeting

Oct. 30, 2021: The Pacers had revenge on their minds after Toronto earned an 18-point victory three days prior. Despite playing on the second night of a back-to-back, Indiana put up a much better fight. However, Toronto found a way to prevail as they captured a 97-94 win at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The loss dropped the Blue & Gold's record to 1-6 to start the season.

The Raptors led 82-76 midway through the fourth before Indiana made a charge. When Myles Turner found himself as the lone defender on a 2-on-1 breakaway, he rose to the occasion and swatted away Gary Trent Jr.'s dunk attempt. The block started a rally for the Pacers, as T.J. McConnell and Turner combined to bring the squad back to within one of the lead with 4:18 remaining.

The Pacers then cut the lead to one possession several times but could not get over the hump. Khem Birch, Fred VanVleet, and Scottie Barnes all responded for Toronto down the stretch. Domantas Sabonis had one final chance to tie the game but could not get the bounce needed off the backboard.

Sabonis finished with a team-high 22 points, 14 rebounds, and three steals in the effort, while Justin Holiday added 16 off the bench. Caris LeVert tallied 15 points, while Chris Duarte posted a solid all-around effort by ending with 12 points, six boards, and six assists. Scottie Barnes led the way for the Raptors with 21.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers own a 47-46 record in the all-time regular-season series, including a 30-16 record in home games.
  • Chris Duarte is averaging 13.0 points per game against Toronto over two games this season.
  • The Blue & Gold are averaging 28.5 points in the fourth quarter against the Raptors over two games.

Tickets

The Pacers continue a three-game homestand at Gainbridge Fieldhouse when they host Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors on Friday, Nov. 26 at 8:00 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)





by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

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