Game Preview: Raptors vs Pacers
Toronto Raptors (36-13) @ Indiana Pacers (31-15)
When: Wednesday, January 23rd, 7 P.M. ET
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Leading into tonight’s game:
- Injury Report: For the Raptors, Jonas Valanciunas (left thumb dislocation), Kawhi Leonard (load management) and OG Anunoby (personal reasons) will be out. For the Pacers, the injury report is clear.
- On the road again: Wednesday’s game in Indiana will be a back-to-back for the Raptors who collected their third straight win against the Kings at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday with a 120-105 victory. It is also the first game in a three-game road trip for Toronto. The trip begins in Indiana against the Pacers, moves to Houston where the Raptors will take on the Rockets on Friday, and concludes in Dallas against the Mavericks on Sunday. When the Raptors return to Scotiabank Arena, they will host the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 31.
- Recent history: This is the third regular-season meeting between the Raptors and Pacers. Toronto has won the first two meetings, a 99-96 thriller on Dec. 19, followed by a 121-105 decision on Jan. 6. Both victories were at Scotiabank Arena. In the most recent meeting, Norman Powell scored a season-high 23 points, Pascal Siakam had a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double and Serge Ibaka scored 18 points. The Raptors led by two after the first quarter, seven at the half and 12 points after three quarters. Indiana enters Wednesday's contest having won two straight and four of their last five. The Pacers are third in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks.
- All-around game: Reserve point guard Fred VanVleet was sure to show off his all-around game against the Kings. Starting in place of the resting Kawhi Leonard, VanVleet scored 19 points, tied a career-high with seven rebounds and added seven assists, a steal and a blocked shot in 32 minutes. VanVleet’s backcourt mate, Kyle Lowry, also scored 19 points, to go with nine assists, four rebounds and a blocked shot. The duo combined to shoot 12-for-25 from the floor, including 7-for-15 from beyond the arc.
- From deep: C.J. Miles had his third straight game finishing in double figures, scoring a season-high 15 points against the Kings. Miles was 5-for-7 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. In his last three games, Miles is averaging 13.6 points and is shooting 9-for-16 from three since returning from a six-game absence because of a sore hip. “That's what a true professional is,” Kyle Lowry said of his teammate. “You'll go through slumps, you're gonna miss shots, but you continue to work, continue to be a professional, and get your job done when the time comes,”
- Balanced effort: Toronto had six players reach double figures against the Kings, in one of the most balanced team scoring performances of the season for the Raptors. The team shot 16-for-40 from beyond the arc and seven different Raptors players recorded at least one three-pointer. “You want to get everybody involved and, especially for us, guards who have to chase around these other guards that fly around screens,” Fred VanVleet said. “Danny’s got to chase the Oladipos and the Buddy Hields and Kyle’s the same way. You want to reward those guys sometimes, right?”