After a disappointing loss to Miami on Monday, the Pacers (43-28) will look to bounce back on Wednesday against Houston (44-26) in their penultimate regular season game.
Indiana struggled offensively in its 114-92 loss to the Heat, shooting just 39.3 percent from the floor and committing 17 turnovers.
The Pacers will need more firepower than that to keep up with the Rockets. Houston is second in the NBA in offensive rating, averaging 113.4 points per 100 possessions, and star guard James Harden (34.3 points per game) has locked up his third straight scoring title.
But while Indiana is still fighting for playoff positioning, the Pacers are prioritizing their health heading into the playoffs. Leading scorer T.J. Warren is listed as out for Thursday's game with a sore foot and fellow starters Malcolm Brogdon, Victor Oladipo, and Myles Turner are all questionable.
Houston is battling for seeding at the top of the Western Conference, currently in fourth place and fighting with Denver for the third seed.
The Rockets will be playing the second half of a back-to-back on Wednesday, having lost to San Antonio on Tuesday afternoon. Harden sat out Tuesday to rest, meaning he likely will be back in uniform against the Pacers.
Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG -Victor Oladipo, SF - Aaron Holiday, PF - JaKarr Sampson, C - Myles Turner
Rockets: PG - James Harden, SG - Eric Gordon, SF - Ben McLemore, PF - Robert Covington, C - P.J. Tucker
Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon - questionable (sore neck), Victor Oladipo - questionable (sore left ankle), Myles Turner - questionable (sore neck), Jeremy Lamb - out (torn ACL, left knee), Domantas Sabonis - out (plantar fasciitis, left foot), T.J. Warren - out (sore right foot)
Rockets: Danuel House Jr. - questionable (left toe sprain), Russell Westbrook - out (right quad contusion), William Howard - not with team, David Nwaba - not with team, Thabo Sefolosha - not with team
Nov. 15, 2019: The Pacers were unable to contain James Harden and fell to Houston 111-102 at Toyota Center.
Harden scored 44 points, going 13-for-26 from the field, 6-for-14 from 3-point range, and 12-for-14 from the free throw line, while also tallying eight rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Ben McLemore added 21 points, while Russell Westbrook had 17 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in the win.
The Pacers lost starting point guard Malcolm Brogdon in the first quarter to a back injury.
"That's a big loss when you're going up against guys like Harden and Westbrook," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. "You not only need him offensively, but you need his size defensively. I thought our guys worked hard and gave us all that they had. We were sitting there right in that game late in the fourth with an opportunity."
Domantas Sabonis led Indiana with 18 points and 13 rebounds in the loss. Doug McDermott also scored 18 points off the bench.
- The Pacers have lost their last five games against the Rockets and also dropped six of their last seven contests in Houston.
- Indiana is seeking its first victory over Houston since Feb. 27, 2017.
- Rockets guard Eric Gordon was Indiana's Mr. Basketball at 2007 while at North Central High School and a third-team All-American in his one season at Indiana University.
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (studio host)
NBA TV - Bill Worrell (play-by-play), Cayleigh Griffin (studio host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (studio host)