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Trail Blazers vs. Pacers Preview: Pacers try to split season series with Blazers

The Pacers will try to push their home winning streak to five games against Portland.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers (21-18) are back at the Fieldhouse for the first of two games over the weekend when they host the Portland Trail Blazers (19-18) on Friday night.

The Pacers try to bounce back after having a win slip away (or taken away if you read the L2M report) in Philly in regulation before losing in OT. The Sixers were missing Joel Embiid, similar to the Pacers’ prior loss when the Pelicans were missing Zion and Ingram. Maybe the Blazers should sit Damian Lillard, just to be safe.

The Blazers are in no spot to take chances though, as the are weathering a rough stretch and trying to remain above .500 while losing six of their last ten games. This game will complete the season series between the two teams. In the first meeting, the Blazers defended their home court with a 116-100 win against a Tyrese-less Pacers team.

The loss for the Pacers had all of the indications of triggering a major fade for the Blue and Gold in the midst of a rough road trip with injuries mounting. However, Andrew Nembhard said, ‘nah’ the very next night at Golden State and the Pacers have continued to show resilience and improvement ever since. This game will be a good test of that improvement against what should be the same lineup for the Blazers.

DraftKings Odds: Pacers -1.5, O/U 237 (latest DraftKings odds here)

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

TV: Bally Sports Indiana/Bally Sports + app

Radio: 93.5 FM/107.5 FM

Projected Starting Lineups:

Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton, Andrew Nembhard, Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith, Myles Turner

Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simmons, Josh Hart, Jerami Grant, Jusuf Nurkic

IND: Isaiah Jackson - out (G League assignment), Daniel Theis - out (knee surgery), Kendall Brown - out (tibia stress reaction)

PDX: Jusuf Nurkic - probable (non-COVID illness), Jerami Grant - questionable (quad contusion), Gary Payton II - questionable (ankle sprain), Nassir Little - out (femoral head impaction fracture), Justise Winslow - out (ankle sprain)

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