It’s a battle of Eastern Conference teams solidly in the playoff picture on the hardwood north of the border. The Indiana Pacers are on the road as they make the trip to face the Toronto Raptors Sunday evening. Indiana comes in off a 106-98 road win over the Knicks Friday night in their last game. Toronto picked up a 118-101 home triumph over the Suns Friday night in their previous contest. The Pacers own a 49-42 advantage in the all-time regular-season series between the teams but the Raptors have taken two of three meetings this year. That includes a 115-106 road win in the most recent matchup on February 7.
Indiana Pacers Seeking to Split Season SeriesIndiana took down the Knicks on the road for their second straight win after a six-game slide. The Pacers entered Saturday second in the Central Division, 14.5 games behind Milwaukee. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the team stood sixth in the standings. 14.5 games behind the Bucks for the top spot. Indiana overcame a slow first quarter that saw them score just 15 points by outscoring New York 65-45 in the middle two quarters to take a 15-point lead. The Pacers saw the Knicks creep within six on a couple of occasions in the final quarter but hung on for the win. Indiana shot 40.9 percent from the field, including eight of 28 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 50-40. T.J. Warren led the Pacers with 27 points and eight rebounds in the win.
The Pacers enter this contest 21st in scoring offense with 109.7 points per game on the season. Indiana is 26th in the league in rebounding with 42.6 boards per contest and stands 6th with 26.1 assists per game. The Pacers are 8th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 107.4 points per game this season. Malcolm Brogdon is third on the team with 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds plus 7.3 assists per game this season. Domantas Sabonis (18.4 points, 12.5 rebounds), Myles Turner (11.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks), T.J. Warren (team-high 18.7 points), Aaron Holiday (9.9 points), Doug McDermott and Jeremy Lamb (12.7 points) are all contributing on the offensive end. Victor Oladipo made his season debut on January 29 against the Bulls. He has averaged 10.8 points per game as he gets back up to speed. Indiana is 3rd in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 47.7 percent from the field this season. The Pacers are 29th in threes made per game as they have drained 10.1 triples a night while the team stands tied for 9th in three-point shooting by hitting 36.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Toronto Raptors Seeking to Stay HotToronto bounced back from a loss in their final game before the All-Star break as they dropped the Suns for their 16th win in their last 17 games Friday night. The Raptors entered Saturday with a 1.5-game lead over the Celtics for the top spot in the Atlantic Division race. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the team stood second, 6.5 games behind the Bucks for the top spot. Toronto put this one to bed early as they led by eight after one quarter and by 24 at the half. The Raptors didn’t let Phoenix closer than seven the rest of the way. Toronto shot 52.5 percent from the floor, including 14 of 37 from three-point range, and overcame 22 turnovers. Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 37 points and 12 rebounds in the win.
The Raptors are 12th in the league in scoring offense with 113 points per game this season. Toronto is 15th in the league with 45.3 rebounds per contest and stands 9th in assists with 25.6 per game. The Raptors are 4th in the league in scoring defense by allowing 106.5 points per game. Pascal Siakam leads the team with 23.8 points plus 7.6 rebounds per contest. Kyle Lowry contributes 19.5 points plus 7.7 assists a game while Fred VanVleet puts up 17.9 points and 6.8 assists per contest. Serge Ibaka (16.1 points, eight rebounds), Norman Powell (15.3 points, 3.9 rebounds) and OG Anunoby (10.3 points, 5.4 rebounds) are guys that Nick Nurse is relying on in the Raptors’ rotation. Toronto is tied for 16th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.1 percent from the floor as a team. The Raptors are fifth in threes per game this season as they have knocked down 13.7 triples per contest while the team is second in the league in three-point shooting by hitting 37.7 percent of their chances from long range. Powell is out with a broken finger on his hand and is expected to be re-evaluated next week. Gasol is dealing with a hamstring injury and is out again here.
The top trends for this contest are:
- Pacers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win
- Pacers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
- Raptors are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games as a home favorite
- Raptors are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home game