Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Indiana Pacers
Records: Raptors (6-9), Pacers (9-6)
Where to Watch
Date: Sunday, Jan. 24
Time: 1 p.m. ET
TV: SN One / SNE / SNP
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
After going 4-1 on a five-game homestand in Tampa, the Toronto Raptors are on the road once again as they travel to Indiana to take on the Pacers for the first of two games in as many days.
The 2020-21 NBA season is unique in more ways than one and this is another interesting wrinkle in the schedule as the Raptors will face the Pacers in a rare back-to-back in the same location. Just two weeks ago, Toronto lost consecutive games on back-to-back days for the first time in over three years as it closed out a West Coast trip with two losses.
MORE: How has Toronto fared in back-to-backs this season?
The team has since bounced back to win four of its last five, including its most recent win over the Miami Heat in which OG Anunoby helped lead the way with a season-high 21 points, shooting 5-for-6 from beyond the arc.
LAST TIME OUT: Anunoby's shooting leads Raptors past Heat
As NBA.com's Kyle Irving pointed out, Anunoby has been red hot as of late, connecting on 22 of his last 37 3-point attempts, a 59.5% conversion rate. While shooting at nearly a 60% clip from beyond the arc is far from sustainable, Anunoby's recent play has provided a much-needed boost for a Raptors team that has had its fair share of early-season struggles.
Norman Powell led all scorers with 23 points as he filled in for Kyle Lowry, who missed the game with a toe infection while Pascal Siakam turned in a solid all-around performance with 15 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.
Lowry will look to return to action on Sunday, which would make for an intriguing point guard matchup between him and 2017 Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon.
WATCH: Brogdon's late triple sinks Magic
Brogdon, who sank the game-winning triple that lifted the Pacers past the Orlando Magic on Friday night, is off to a great start to the season as he's averaging a team-high 22.5 points and 7.2 assists on .465/.423/.909 shooting splits. Through 15 games, Brogdon and big man Domantas Sabonis have looked like Indiana's next All-Star duo.
After earning the first All-Star selection of his career in 2020, Sabonis has again elevated his game with career-best averages of 21.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.0 steals this season. Given Toronto's lack of traditional frontcourt depth, Sabonis and NBA blocks leader Myles Turner will provide unique challenges for Siakam, Anunoby, Aron Baynes and Chris Boucher on both ends of the floor.
Perhaps the most interesting subplot for this two-game series will be the chess match between head coaches Nick Nurse and Nate Bjorkgren.
Bjorkgren, who has known Nurse for decades, was an assistant for two seasons with the Raptors before taking the Pacers job in 2020. The pre-existing familiarity and similarities in coaching philosophies will make for quite the head-to-head matchup between longtime friends and former colleagues.
• Kyle Lowry (toe infection) - Out
• Pascal Siakam (knee swelling) - Out
• Patrick McCaw (knee) - Out
• JaKarr Sampson (non-COVID illness) - Available
• Caris LeVert (medical condition) - Out
• TJ Warren (foot) - Out
• Through 15 games, Indiana has posted an offensive rating of 111.5, good for ninth in the NBA. Toronto's 110.1 offensive rating ranks 15th.
• The Pacers' defensive rating of 109.2 ranks 14th in the league while the Raptors' defensive rating of 108.5 ranks 10th.
• Through 13 games, Pacers centre Myles Turner is averaging a league-leading 4.1 blocks per game.
• Toronto has won eight of its last 10 meetings with Indiana, including three in a row.
• The last time these two teams met, the Raptors earned a 127-81 win; the 46-point margin of victory is the largest in franchise history.
• OG Anunoby played two seasons of college basketball at Indiana University in nearby Bloomington.
• Raptors forward Stanley Johnson and Pacers guard TJ McConnell were teammates for a season at the University of Arizona.
• Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren was an assistant coach with the Raptors from 2018-20, winning an NBA title in 2019.
• Indiana assistant coach Greg Foster finished his playing career with Toronto in the 2002-03 season
Raptors vs. Pacers: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Pacers -1.0 (-110), Raptors +1.0 (-110)
Moneyline: Pacers (-115), Raptors (-105)
Over/under: 219.0 - Over (-110), Under (-110)
Last Time They Played
Date: Feb. 23, 2020
Score: Raptors 127, Pacers 81
Raptors: Kyle Lowry - 16 points, 11 assists, 7 rebounds, 5 steals
Pacers: Domantas Sabonis - 14 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists
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