Pacers at Warriors

Game Preview: Pacers at Warriors

Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 10:30 PM ET at ORACLE Arena
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss





Matchup

After dropping three straight games to open their four-game Western Conference road trip, the Pacers (44-27) face the unenviable task of needing to beat the defending champion Warriors (48-22) at ORACLE Arena to avoid heading back to Indianapolis winless.

Though they have lost three in a row, the Pacers have been competitive and had chances to win each of those games.

They held double-digit leads in the first half of games in Denver and Portland, lost those leads in the third quarter, but rallied to have chances to win both games over the closing minutes.

Playing on the second night of a back-to-back on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Indiana rallied back from 17 points down, twice trimming the deficit to three over the final 1:02, but couldn't get one more stop down the stretch in a 105-99 loss.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Pacers' Playoff Push »

One encouraging development in Tuesday's loss was the play of reserve guard Tyreke Evans. He had struggled to find a rhythm lately, missing five of the previous 10 games for various reasons, but with starting point guard Darren Collison out against the Clippers, the Pacers put the ball in Evans' hands more and he delivered. The 6-6 guard tallied 19 points on 9-of-16 shooting, eight rebounds, and seven assists.

The Warriors are in first place and still the prohibitive favorites to win another NBA title in June, but they have shown some cracks lately, going just 7-7 over their last 14 games. There is never a "good" time to face Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Co., but Golden State does appear to be a little less formidable than usual at the moment.

The Pacers will be without head coach Nate McMillan on Thursday due to personal reasons. Assistant coach Dan Burke will be acting head coach against the Warriors.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Cory Joseph, SG - Wesley Matthews, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Warriors: PG - Stephen Curry, SG - Klay Thompson, SF - Kevin Durant, PF - Draymond Green, C - DeMarcus Cousins

Injury Report

Pacers: Darren Collison - out (right quad contusion), Victor Oladipo - out (right knee surgery)

Warriors: Damian Jones - out (left pectoral surgery)

Last Meeting

January 28, 2019: Warriors rolled to their 11th straight win behind strong performances from four All-Stars, handing Indiana a 132-100 defeat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Stephen Curry scored 23 of his game-high 26 points in the first half, going 10-for-13 from the field and 6-for-8 from 3-point range. New addition DeMarcus Cousins added a season-high 22 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists in his fifth game since returning to the court from rupturing his Achilles tendon a year ago with the New Orleans Pelicans.

"That team can just flat-out score," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. "(They scored) 40 points in the first quarter and we were just playing from behind the entire game.

Pacers center Myles Turner led Indiana with 16 points in the loss on 7-of-12 shooting, while also tallying six rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. Bojan Bogdanovic added 15 points, going 5-for-13 from the field but 3-for-6 from 3-point range.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers are trying to avoid being swept by the Warriors for the third time in the past four seasons.
  • Darren Collison missed his first game of the season on Tuesday night with a right quad contusion. Only three Pacers have now played in every game this season: Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, and Cory Joseph.
  • The Pacers are looking to avoid losing every game on a road trip of at least four games since they were swept over a four-game trip from Nov. 29 - Dec. 5, 2014.

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)

Radio: 107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)

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