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Pacers vs. Nuggets Preview: Rocky road continues for Pacers in the Rockies

The Pacers are in Denver trying to halt a five-game losing streak.

Denver Nuggets v Indiana Pacers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers (23-23) continue their rough road on Friday night when they visit the Denver Nuggets (32-13).

The Nuggs currently sit atop the Western Conference standings thanks to Nikola Jokic who is producing at a level worth earning his third MVP honor whether MVP voters like it or not. Jokic is averaging around 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists per game midway through the season with a deeper cast of players (healthy players) around him to make the big fella a lethal triple threat.

In early November when the Pacers were just starting to show signs of promise, foul trouble kept Jokic’s minutes to just 21 for the game, but he was still able to spearhead a late rally and finish with 24 points as Denver finished off the Pacers, 122-119. It was the Pacers only loss in a 7-1 stretch that changed the narrative of the season for the good guys. However, it was just another win at the office for a Nuggets team that will contend for a title this year.

Aside from Tyrese Haliburton, who mentioned he is targeting an early February return, the Pacers remain healthy. Jokic was added to the injury list on Friday as questionable with a balky hamstring. No harm hoped, but a rest day wouldn’t be the worst thing for the big fella. Regardless, the road will remain challenging for the Blue and Gold in Denver.

DraftKings Odds: Nuggets -9, O/U 237.5 (latest DraftKings odds here)

When: 9:00 p.m. ET

Where: Ball Arena, Denver, CO

TV: Bally Sports Indiana/Bally Sports + app

Radio: 93.5 FM/107.5 FM

Projected Starting Lineups:

Pacers: Andrew Nembhard, Bennedict Mathurin, Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith, Myles Turner

Nuggets: Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, Nikola Jokic

Injuries

IND: Tyrese Haliburton - out (left elbow sprain/left knee bone contusion), Daniel Theis - out (right knee surgery), Kendall Brown - out (tibia stress reaction)

DEN: Jamal Murray - probable (right foot and ankle inflammation), Nikola Jokic - questionable (hamstring), Jeff Green - questionable (hand fracture), Collin Gillespie - out (leg fracture), Peyton Watson - out (adductor strain)

Please share your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.