Game Preview: Raptors vs Pacers
Indiana Pacers (26-12) @ Toronto Raptors (29-12)
When: Sunday, January 6th, 7:30 P.M.
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Leading into tonight’s game:
- Injury Report: For the Raptors, Jonas Valanciunas is out with a dislocated left thumb. The status of Kyle Lowry (lower back pain) is to be determined. For the Pacers, Ike Anigbogu is out with a sore right knee and Myles Turner is questionable with a sore right shoulder.
- Bounce back: The Raptors will face Indiana fresh off a much-needed 123-116 road win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. The Raptors had four players score at least 20 points in the victory, led by Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam who each scored 30 points. The Pacers, meanwhile, are on a roll. At 26-12, Indiana is in third place in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers come to Toronto on a six-game winning streak and are 13-2 over their last 15 games. Most recently, Indiana defeated the Chicago Bulls on the road 119-116 in overtime behind a 36-point effort from Victor Oladipo.
- Recent history: This will be the second meeting between the Raptors and Pacers this season. Toronto hosted the Pacers on Dec. 19 where they earned a 99-96 victory thanks to a go-ahead three-pointer from Fred VanVleet with 25 seconds remaining to complete a 17-point comeback. Kawhi Leonard led the team offensively with 28 points and Pascal Siakam added 17 points. The Raptors were without Kyle Lowry for the win. Victor Oladipo led Indiana with 20 points in the loss.
- Streak continues: Kawhi Leonard’s career-best stretch of consecutive games with at least 20 points scored was extended in Saturday’s game against the Bucks. Leonard scored 30 points in the win, making it 16 consecutive games with at least 20 points, (Nov. 29 - Jan. 5). He had an absolutely monster line against the Bucks, adding six rebounds, six assists and five steals to his game-high 30 points. The Raptors were a game-best +21 when he was on the floor.
- Another career-high: For the second time in three games, Pascal Siakam has set a new career-high for points. After scoring 28 points against the Utah Jazz on Jan. 1, Siakam topped his previous best, scoring 30 points in Milwaukee on 11-for-15 field goals, including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. Siakam and Leonard combined to score their 60 points on 19-for-31 field goals.
- Steady Freddy: With Kyle Lowry missing 10 of the team’s last 11 games, the role of starting point guard has been Fred VanVleet’s. Though VanVleet has been dealing with a sore back of his own, he was fantastic on Saturday, finishing with 21 points, eight assists, five rebounds and a blocked shot in 35 minutes. He shot 6-for-12 from the floor and 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.