Pacers vs Suns

Ready for Fans in the Stands

January 8, 2020: With the news that fans will soon be back in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Nate Bjorkgren and JaKarr Sampson shared their thoughts. Bjorkgren also previewed the matchup with the Phoenix Suns.

Pregame 210109

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Ready for Fans in the Stands

January 8, 2020: With the news that fans will soon be back in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Nate Bjorkgren and JaKarr Sampson shared their thoughts. Bjorkgren also previewed the matchup with the Phoenix Suns.
Jan 8, 2021  |  01:48

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room – Jan. 6, 2020

Jan. 6, 2021 – Nate Bjorkgren, Malcolm Brogdon, Victor Oladipo, and Justin Holiday speak with the media following Indiana’s 114-107 win over the Houston Rockets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Jan 6, 2021  |  03:47

Game Preview: Pacers vs Suns

Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

Before heading out for a five-game Western Conference road trip next week, the Pacers (6-2) will host the Phoenix Suns (6-3) in a Saturday night showdown between two teams near the top of their respective conference standings.

The Pacers have a pair of tight contests earlier this week, a dramatic overtime victory in New Orleans on Monday and a 114-107 win over the Rockets on Wednesday. In both contests, Indiana defense locked down in the closing minutes of regulation. The Blue & Gold held New Orleans without a field goal over the final 3:45 of regulation while rallying from a 10-point deficit to force overtime, then held Houston scoreless for the final 2:36 of Wednesday's contest.

Offensively, Malcolm Brogdon has been fueling Indiana's success, playing at an All-Star level to open the season and especially over the last week. Over his last three games, Brogdon is averaging 29.7 points and 8.3 assists while going 15-for-25 (60 percent from 3-point range). Brogdon set a new career high with 33 points against New York on Saturday, then topped that with 35 points on Wednesday against the Rockets. In between, he hit the game-winning shot in overtime to beat the Pelicans.

"He knows where he's going to get his shots," Brogdon's backcourt mate Victor Oladipo said following Wednesday's win. "He knows when to be aggressive, knows when to get people involved. He's playing great for us now. We're going to need him to do that all year."

After just missing out on the playoffs last season, the Suns seem primed to reach the postseason in 2021. The Suns have won six of their first eight games, including impressive road wins at Utah and Denver, before falling in overtime on Friday night in Detroit.

The Suns have a young core centered around All-Star guard Devin Booker and former number one pick Deandre Ayton. The 24-year-old Booker is averaging 21.7 points and 4.4 assists per game, while 22-year-old Ayton is adding 13.4 points on 61.2 percent shooting and 11.4 rebounds per contest.

Phoenix also made a major splash over the offseason, acquiring Chris Paul in a trade with Oklahoma City. The 10-time All-Star brings veteran leadership to the young Suns locker room and currently ranks fifth in the NBA in assists, averaging 8.3 per game.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - Aaron Holiday, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Suns: PG - Chris Paul, SG - Devin Booker, SF - Mikal Bridges, PF - Jae Crowder, C - Deandre Ayton

Injury Report

Pacers: Doug McDermott - questionable (left ankle sprain), Goga Bitadze - out (right ankle sprain), Brian Bowen II - out (partial groin tear), Jeremy Lamb - out (left knee rehabilation), Jalen Lecque - out (left ankle sprain), T.J. Warren - out (left foot stress fracture)

Suns: Cameron Payne - out (right ankle sprain), Jalen Smith - out (health and safety protocols)

Last Meeting

Aug. 6, 2020: Three players recorded double-doubles as the Suns picked up their fourth straight win to open the NBA restart in Orlando with a 114-99 victory over Indiana. Phoenix would go a perfect 8-0 in the Orlando bubble, but failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Malcolm Brogdon led the Pacers with 25 points, six rebounds, and six assists in the loss, going 9-for-16 from the field and 4-for-7 from 3-point range. Myles Turner finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks for Indiana. T.J. Warren added 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Victor Oladipo finished with 16 points on 4-of-11 shooting in 31 minutes.

Deandre Ayton led Phoenix with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Devin Booker (20 points and 10 assists) and rookie Cameron Johnson (14 points and 12 boards) also recorded double-doubles for the Suns.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers had won six straight games against the Suns before falling to Phoenix in their last meeting during the NBA seeding games in Orlando.
  • The Suns have not won at Bankers Life Fieldhouse since Nov. 18, 2016.
  • Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren was a member of the Suns' coaching staff from 2015-17.

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for upcoming Pacers home games from Jan. 24 through March 4 will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »

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 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)





by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

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