Pacers at Trail Blazers

Game Preview: Pacers at Trail Blazers

Monday, March 18, 2019 at 10:30 PM ET at Moda Center
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Last Updated: March 18 at 1:30 PM ET

Matchup

After a narrow miss in the first stop of a difficult four-game road trip, the Pacers (44-26) will try to get back in the win column on Monday night in Portland.

The Blue & Gold had a rollercoaster game on Saturday in Denver. They led by 18 in the first half, trailed by 11 in the fourth quarter, rallied to tie the game in the final minute, and fell in the final seconds in a 102-100 loss to the Nuggets.

The Pacers continued a troubling trend in the loss, enduring another prolonged offensive slump, this time in the third quarter. Indiana managed just 15 points in the frame against Denver, going 5-for-20 from the field and 0-for-7 from 3-point range with four turnovers.

That is a trend that cannot continue for much longer if the Pacers want to pick up wins against a demanding schedule. Their next six games are all against teams that are at least 10 games above .500 and five of those games are on the road.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Pacers' Playoff Push »

The Trail Blazers (42-27) enter Monday's contest in fourth place in the Western Conference and — like the Pacers — are fighting to secure homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Portland features one of the league's most dynamic backcourts in All-Star Damian Lillard (26.1 points and 6.5 assists per game) and sharpshooter CJ McCollum (21.3 points per game and a .380 3-poitn percentage), but half of that duo will be sidelined on Monday.

McCollum suffered a left leg injury in a loss in San Antonio on Saturday and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his left knee on Sunday. Blazers fans are keeping their fingers crossed that McCollum is not sidelined for a prolonged stretch, as that would be a devastating blow to their playoff hopes.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Wesley Matthews, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Trail Blazers: PG - Damian Lillard, SG - Rodney Hood, SF - Maurice Harkless, PF - Al-Farouq Aminu, C - Jusuf Nurkic

Injury Report

Pacers: Victor Oladipo - out (right knee surgery)

Trail Blazers: CJ McCollum - out (left knee injury)

Last Meeting

October 29, 2018: Portland handed the Pacers their first home loss of the season on Monday, a 103-93 defeat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Victor Oladipo scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter and also collected nine rebounds and seven assists in the loss. Darren Collison added 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting and six assists.

CJ McCollum and Zach Collins led Portland with 17 points apiece. Damian Lillard finished with 16 and former Pacers guard Evan Turner contributed 13 points, eight boards, and three assists off the bench.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have dropped nine straight games in Portland. Indiana's last road win over the Trail Blazers was on Nov. 28, 2007.
  • With a win on Monday, the Blazers would sweep the season series with the Pacers for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
  • Trail Blazers forward Evan Turner was traded to Indiana from Philadelphia (where he was teammates with current Pacers forward Thaddeus Young) in 2014 and helped Indiana reach the Eastern Conference Finals that spring.

Tickets

After a four-game road trip, the Pacers will return home to host Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Sunday, March 24 at 5:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
ESPN - Announcers TBA
Radio: 107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)


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