The Portland Trail Blazers visit the Indiana Pacers on Friday night in a game between two of the league’s elite teams for the Game of the Night. The Blazers, at 35-14 are currently the three-seed in the Western Conference but have been struggling of late, ending a four-game road losing streak against the New York Knicks on Wednesday. The Pacers boast the Eastern Conference’s best record at 38-10 and have won 7 games in their last 10 meetings.
Indiana’s starting forward Lance Stephenson will be forced to sit out on Friday due to a lower back injury suffered on Tuesday. Below is the play that led to the injury:
All-Star Paul George is leading the team in scoring, dropping 22.7 points per game while center Roy Hibbert paces Indiana with 7.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. The Pacers lead the league in opponents points, allowing just 90.2 per contest.
The Blazers are the league’s best offensive team, producing 107.7 points per game on 41.3 percent shooting from the field. In the last five contests, however, Portland has averaged just 91.8 points while shooting 39.4 percent from the field.
LaMarcus Aldridge leads the squad with 24.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, while Damian Lillard dishes out a team-best 5.7 assists. Wesley Matthews is averaging a career-best 16.7 points.
On December 2, the two teams faced off in their only other matchup of the season. Despite 43 points from George, the Blazers came out on top at home 106-102. Aldridge and Lillard combined for 56 points while Matthews added 15.
Although the Pacers are an extremely impressive 23-2 at home and will be seeking revenge, Portland will take it. 103-97, Blazers win.
Time: 7:00 P.M. ET
National TV: ESPN