|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 PM CT22:00 , January 14, 2022
Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana Attendance: 14,019
Struggling Pacers brace for visit from Suns
Phoenix Suns at Indiana Pacers
- This is the first meeting of the season between Phoenix and Indiana after splitting the season series in each of the last two seasons. Most recently, the Pacers defeated the Suns 122-111 in Phoenix with the help from Domantas Sabonis' triple-double in March of last season.
- The Suns defeated the Raptors in Toronto, 99-95, on Tuesday, while tying its second lowest points in the paint this season with 34 (averages 47.3). When Phoenix scores 50 or more points in the paint in a game this season, they hold a record of 16-2 (.889).
- Chris Paul recorded 15 points, 12 assists and a team-high +16 plus-minus against the Raptors. Paul is tied for ninth highest plus-minus (+227 total) this season. He hasn't finished top 10 in plus-minus since the 2017-18 season with Houston (fourth best with +500 total).
- Indiana knocked down seven threes on a season-low 19.4 percent shooting in its, 119-100, loss against Boston on January 12. The Pacers have shot less than 30.0 percent (averages 32.3) from three in 18 games this season, only Oklahoma City has more such games (20 games).
- Domantas Sabonis registered his 16th game with at least 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in Wednesday's loss. Among forwards, Sabonis has the fourth most games this season with that stat line, only Giannis Antetokounmpo (24), LeBron James (21) and Kevin Durant (17) have more such games.
- Phoenix recorded 25 assists and 10 steals in its win over Toronto. The Suns rank fifth in both assists and steals per game this season, averaging 26.1 and 8.8 respectively. Phoenix hasn't finished top 10 in the same season in both assists and steals since 2000-01.
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The Phoenix Suns didn't exactly put their best foot forward in the opener of their five-game road trip, however they still managed to come out on top.
Winners of four of their last five games overall, the Suns look to put forth a better effort on Friday when they visit the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis.
Sure, all five Phoenix starters reached double digits in scoring in a 99-95 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, however the Suns committed 20 turnovers and allowed 22 offensive rebounds.
"When you have that many turnovers and you give up that many extra possessions, you'd better do something well," Phoenix coach Monty Williams said. "I thought our half-court defense was sound."
Jae Crowder scored a team-high 19 points, Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker each had 16 and Chris Paul collected 15 points and 12 assists in the victory.
"That's one of them games you gotta put your hard hat on," Paul said.
While the NBA-leading Suns have just nine losses on the season, the sputtering Pacers nearly have that many (eight) in their last nine games. Indiana added to that total by dropping both ends of a home-and-home set against the Boston Celtics this week.
"The blessing of the NBA is that it's 80-plus games. So, we still have 40 games left," Caris LeVert said. "There's a lot of games left to correct what we saw that we did wrong in the first half of the season. I think that there's a lot of time left still to do what we want to do. But we have to make that commitment to do it."
LeVert returned from a five-game absence due to health and safety protocols to score 16 points in the Pacers' 119-100 loss to the Celtics on Wednesday.
"It definitely felt great getting back out there with my teammates, just being around the guys," LeVert said. "Being in isolation is definitely tough for anyone who has had to do it, but like I said I'm just glad to be back with the team."
Malcolm Brogdon scored six points, playing just 17 minutes in his return from a sore right Achilles.
"Look it's never seamless and in this case, you're talking about two of our highly, highly skilled guys who have been out a significant amount of time," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "Tomorrow will be a new day and we'll circle the wagons and try and get better."
The Pacers will look for a better performance from 3-point range. They shot a season-low 19.4 percent (7 of 36) from beyond the arc, with Justin Holiday accounting as the lone Indiana player to make more than one 3-pointer.
Myles Turner finished with a team-high 18 points on Wednesday despite misfiring on all five of his 3-point attempts. He is 1 for 16 from beyond the arc in his last five outings.
Domantas Sabonis averages team-leading totals in points (19.0) and rebounds (11.9) this season. He averaged 25.0 and 17.5, respectively, in last season's two-game series split against the Suns.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 13, 2022