Game Preview: Pacers vs. Kings

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Match

Ever since the Pacers and Kings completed a blockbuster trade on Feb. 8, fans of both teams have had March 23 circled on their calendars. That date comes Wednesday, when Sacramento (25-48) visits Indiana (25-47).

It won’t be quite the reunion many expected, as two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis won’t return to Indiana after injuring his left knee on Sunday. While Pacers fans will be disappointed not to be able to welcome Sabonis back, they will still be able to see Justin Holiday and Jeremy Lamb, who both spent nearly three years in Indiana.

Holiday, who has started 98 of 197 games for the Pacers, has slipped into a starting role in Sacramento, where he is averaging 9.3 points per game. Lamb played 121 games and started 50 for the Pacers despite being out for nearly a year with a torn ACL. The 10-year veteran averaged 8.4 points and 4 rebounds in eight games off the bench for Sacramento.

Wednesday’s game will also mean a lot to former Kings Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield, who both thrived in expanded roles with the Pacers.

Haliburton was already a rising star in Sacramento, but the sophomore guard has hit another level in his first 16 games at Indiana. The 22-year-old increased his scoring average from 14.3 points per game with the Kings to 17.4 with the Blue & Gold and his assists from 7.4 per game to 9.1. Haliburton also improved his field goal percentage from .457 to .495 and remained a sharp 3-point shooter, knocking down 41.2% of his attempts from beyond the arc.

After mostly coming off the bench at Sacramento, Hield has been a primary offensive option at Indiana, taking on a prominent role as a scorer but also as a distributor. The 29-year-old sharpshooter improved his averages from 14.4 points, 4 rebounds and 1.9 assists with the Kings to 18.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5 assists with the Pacers.

Projected starters

Pacers: PG – Tyrese Haliburton, SG – Malcolm Brogdon, SF – Buddy Hield, PF – Oshae Brissett, C – Goga Bitadze
Kings: PG – De’Aaron Fox, SG – Justin Holiday, SF – Harrison Barnes, PF – Trey Lyles, C – Damian Jones

injury report

Pacers: Chris Duarte – questionable (painful left toe), Tyrese Haliburton – questionable (painful lower back),
Isaiah Jackson – questionable (concussion), TJ McConnell – out (right wrist ligament surgery), Ricky Rubio – out (torn left ACL), Myles Turner – out (left foot stress reaction), TJ Warren – out ( left navicular fracture)

Kings: De’Aaron Fox – questionable (right hand sore), Terence Davis – out (right wrist ECU tendon recovery), Richaun Holmes – out (personal reasons), Domantas Sabonis – out (left knee contusion)

Last meeting

November 7, 2021: The Pacers prevailed in a close contest in Sacramento, 94-91.

Caris LeVert scored a team-high 22 points in the win, while TJ McConnell added 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Indiana. Domantas Sabonis (17 points and 10 rebounds) and Myles Turner (12 points and 15 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles for the Bleu & Or.

Harrison Barnes had 22 points for Sacramento, while Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox scored 17 points apiece in the loss.

Remarkable

  • Before the Kings’ victory last season at Indianapolis, the Pacers had won four straight home games against Sacramento.
  • The Pacers have used 34 different starting lineups in 72 games this season.
  • Kings interim head coach Alvin Gentry coached Buddy Hield and Lance Stephenson in New Orleans during the 2016-17 season.

Tickets

Justin Holiday and Jeremy Lamb return to Indiana as the Pacers host the Sacramento Kings at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Wednesday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET. Find Tickets »

TV & Radio Listings Broadcast Information »

TV: Bally Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (secondary reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (secondary reporter/host)


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