Pacers at Trail Blazers

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Pacers Hope to Close Out Road Trip Strong

Jan. 25, 2020 - T.J. Warren and Domantas Sabonis discuss Friday's win at Golden State and look ahead to Sunday's game in Portland, the last stop of a five-game Western Conference road trip.

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Pacers Hope to Close Out Road Trip Strong

Jan. 25, 2020 - T.J. Warren and Domantas Sabonis discuss Friday's win at Golden State and look ahead to Sunday's game in Portland, the last stop of a five-game Western Conference road trip.
Jan 25, 2020  |  01:41

Game Preview: Pacers at Trail Blazers

Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 9:00 PM ET at Moda Center
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

Matchup

With Victor Oladipo's return on the horizon, the Pacers (30-16) are first wrapping up their five-game road trip with a bout against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blue & Gold hope to clinch their fourth win out of five games on this Western Conference trip. Malcolm Brogdon will miss Sunday's contest at Moda Center, his second missed game due to a concussion.

After making it to the Western Conference Finals last season, the Trail Blazers have had a somewhat lackluster first half of the 2019-20 NBA season and need to play catch-up if they wish to make the playoffs once again. They currently sit in 11th place in the Western Conference — 2.5 games behind the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies.

Nonetheless, Portland's stars have little trouble getting to the net. Led by elite scorer Damian Lillard, the team ranks a respectable 12th overall in offensive rating, scoring 110.4 points per 100 possessions. Lillard's 28.3 points per game is the league's fifth-highest average. Against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 20, he scored 61 on 17-of-37 shooting, including 11-of-20 from 3-point range.

Center Hassan Whiteside is having a solid season as well in his first year with Portland. He's comfortably averaging a double-double, scoring 15.5 points and hauling in 14.0 rebounds per game. In addition, the 30-year-old leads the NBA in blocked shots per game, swatting 3.0 attempts per contest.

Whiteside's seven-foot frame has the potential to cause Indiana fits in the paint once again. Last season as a member of the Miami Heat, he averaged 14.0 points on 55.6 percent shooting, 16.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in three games against the Blue & Gold.

To boot, Portland's play on offense has been boosted by the resurgence of Carmelo Anthony. In 31 games this season, Anthony has averaged 16.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

However, the Pacers could be in for another big scoring night. After scoring a season-high 129 points against the Golden State Warriors on Friday night, Indiana is facing another team that ranks near the bottom in defensive rating. Portland is giving up the sixth-most points per 100 possessions (112.7).

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - T.J. McConnell, SG - Jeremy Lamb, SF - T.J. Warren, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Trail Blazers: PG - Damian Lillard, SG - CJ McCollum, SF - Trevor Ariza, PF - Carmelo Anthony, C - Hassan Whiteside

Injury Report

Pacers: TJ Leaf - questionable (sore right knee), JaKarr Sampson - questionable (sprained left ankle), Malcolm Brogdon - out (concussion), Victor Oladipo - out (right knee surgery rehab)

Trail Blazers: CJ McCollum - questionable (left ankle sprain), Zach Collins - out (left shoulder dislocation), Rodney Hood - out (left Achilles tendon rupture), Skal Labissiere - out (left knee infl ammation), Jusuf Nurkic - out (left leg fracture)

Last Meeting

March 18, 2019: Despite Portland misfiring on their first 10 3-point attempts, they managed to connect on 13 of their last 22 attempts en route to handing the Pacers a 106-98 loss at Moda Center. It was the second straight loss for the Blue & Gold to open up a four-game Western Conference road trip.

An 11-point lead slowly turned into a 21-point deficit by the fourth quarter, as the Trail Blazers began heating up from three. The Pacers made a final charge midway through the fourth, reeling off an 8-0 run and getting to within 10 on Tyreke Evans' three-point play with 5:55 remaining. But for the next four minutes, the Pacers only managed three points. A foul call on the defensive end allowed Damian Lillard to ice the game from the free-throw line.

Myles Turner led Indiana with 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting and pulled down 10 rebounds. Bojan Bogdanovic added 15, while Doug McDermott tallied 14 off the bench, going 4-of-5 from deep.

Lillard scored a game-high 30 points for Portland, going 9-for-16 from the field and 4-of-9 from beyond the arc. He also dished out 15 assists. Jusuf Nurkic also recorded a double-double, tallying 18 points and 11 boards.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana is just 34-56 all-time against Portland and has lost the last four games in the series.
  • The Pacers have not won in Portland since Nov. 28, 2007.
  • Before accepting the Pacers head coaching job in 2016, Nate McMillan was the head coach for the Portland Trail Blazers for seven seasons (2004-05 to 2011-12).

Tickets

After a five-game road trip, the Pacers will return home to host the Chicago Bulls at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7:00 PM ET. All-Star guard Victor Oladipo plans to make his season debut that night. Find Tickets »

Ticketmaster - 2019-20 Pacers tickets

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 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (studio host)





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