T.J. Warren continues to wax hot for the Indiana Pacers (32-23).
Warren scored 35 points (on 16-of-19 shooting) in Indiana’s resounding 118-111 win over the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks (46-8) on February 12. The win snapped Indy’s six-game losing streak. It also helped the Pacers gain momentum heading into the All-Star break.
After a nine-day break, the last thing Pacers head coach Nate McMillan was rust against their arch rivals, the New York Knicks (17-38).
Warren didn’t shoot as well as he did against the Bucks (10-of-21 shooting). However, his 27 points helped the Pacers get on track with a 106-98 road win at Madison Square Garden on February 21.
New York held a 20-15 lead after the first 12 minutes of play. Rookie R.J. Barrett scored six points during that stretch for the Knicks.
The second quarter was all Pacers. Behind a balanced attack, Indiana outscored New York, 36-24. The Pacers led at the half, 51-44.
The Blue and Gold threatened to pull away after an 80-65 lead through the first three quarters. Warren’s 11 third-quarter points helped Indiana establish the double-digit lead.
Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, playing in his eighth game back after a year-long absence, sat out the fourth quarter due to back spasms. The Knicks promptly took advantage.
Barrett’s driving layup cut the deficit to six, 91-85, with 6:15 remaining. The Knicks pulled to within four after Damyean Dotson’s three-pointer almost six minutes later, 98-94.
However, Pacers All-Star forward Domants Sabonis made six free throws in crunch time to seal the deal for Indiana.
Sabonis complemented Warren perfectly with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Doug McDermott added 14 points off the bench for the Pacers.
Bobby Portis led the Knicks with 19 points. Barrett added 17 points while Frank Ntilikina chipped in with 14 points.
Raptors Beat Pacers For 3rd Straight Time in Blowout Fashion
The Indiana Pacers (33-23) beat the Toronto Raptors (41-15) in a thrilling overtime encounter 120-115 on December 23. Since then, the defending champions Raptors have beaten Indiana three straight times.
Toronto enjoyed its biggest win of the season with an emphatic 127-81 rout of the cold-shooting Pacers (32.6 percent field-goal shooting) at Scotiabank Arena on February 23. It was Toronto’s 13th consecutive home win over Indiana, a streak which covers a span of three years.
Moreover, it was the fewest points the Raptors have allowed this season. It was also Indiana’s biggest loss in the 2019-20 campaign.
The Pacers’ starters shot a horrific 1 of 13 from the field in the first quarter. On the other hand, the Raptors went full throttle from start to finish. Toronto established a commanding 34-12 lead after the first 12 minutes.
The Raptors even led by 49 points after Matt Thomas’ three-pointer made it 127-78 with 43.7 seconds remaining in the game.
For Indiana, there was nothing much to write home about. The Pacers shot 24.2 percent (8 of 33) from three-point range. The Raptors also outrebounded them, 57-39. Serge Ibaka, whose last-second three-pointer gave Toronto a 119-118 win over Indiana on February 5, had 15 rebounds.
Toronto’s Pascal Siakam was the game’s high scorer with 21 points. Thomas chipped in with 17 points off the bench. All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry had 16 points and 11 assists.
All-Star power forward Domantas Sabonis had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana. The Holiday brothers, Aaron and Justin, had 14 points and 12 points, respectively. T.J. Warren, who scored 62 points in Indiana’s past two games, had just seven points on 3-of-12 shooting.
Pacers Bounce Back with Lopsided Win Over Charlotte Hornets
The Indiana Pacers (33-24) bounced back in impressive fashion by routing the listless Charlotte Hornets (19-37) 119-80 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 25. The Blue and Gold became just the second team in NBA history to lose a game by 35 points and win one by the same margin.
Despite missing the services of Victor Oladipo (lower back injury) and Jeremy Lamb (out for the year with a torn ACL), the Pacers tied a season-high with 35 assists (nine by Domantas Sabonis) in the one-sided victory. Center Myles Turner was a force as he blocked a career-high eight shots.
The Hornets got on the board first after Malik Monk scored on a layup to make it 2-0. From there on out, it was all Pacers.
Indiana started to pull away in the second quarter when second stringers JaKarr Sampson, Doug McDermott, and Justin Holiday took the court. The trio helped the Pacers establish a 48-27 lead.
From there, Indy led 69-44 at halftime. The Pacers continued building on their huge lead in the second half. The home team led by as many as 43 points, 106-63, with just a little less than eight minutes left to play.
Sabonis was the game’s top scorer with 21 markers. T.J. Warren, who scored just seven points in the blowout loss in Toronto, had 19. Malcolm Brogdon had 15 points and seven assists for Indiana.
Myles Bridges led the cold-shooting Hornets (33 percent field-goal shooting) with 17 points. Caleb Martin was the only other Charlotte player in double digits with 11.
Pacers Odds Trend Up Against Portland Trail Blazers
The Indiana Pacers (34-24) take on the visiting Portland Trail Blazers (26-32) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 27.
Behind All-Star point guard Damian Lillard’s 50 points, Portland beat Indiana 139-129 on January 26. The Pacers missed the services of Victor Oladipo (ruptured quad), Malcolm Brogdon (concussion), and Myles Turner (illness) for that game.
The Blue and Gold seek retribution against Rip City on Wednesday. The Pacers, seeking their fourth win in the last five games, must stymie CJ McCollum (21.8 ppg), Hassan Whiteside (15.8 ppg, 14.1 rpg), and Carmelo Anthony (15.6 ppg). Lillard remains questionable with a groin injury. He has not seen action since February 12.
For its part, Indiana will rely on the likes of T.J. Warren (18.5 ppg), Domantas Sabonis (18.3 ppg, 12.5 rpg), and Malcolm Brodgon (16.3 ppg, 7.2 apg).
Pacers odds, Pacers moneyline, and Pacers over/under favor the Blue and Gold because of their better record. Plus, the Blazers most likely will play without Lillard, their leading scorer (29.5 ppg) and heart and soul.