The Denver Nuggets travel to Banker's Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, for a battle with the Indiana Pacers Thursday night at 8 pm EST. Currently, the Nuggets are favored by 4.5-points, up from 4 at the opening, while the total stands at 225.5-points.
The Nuggets are coming off a blowout win on the road versus the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night as Nikola Jokic was sensational in posting a triple-double while Jamal Murry posted 24 points as the Nuggets shot 56% from the floor while nailing 11 treys. On the other hand, the defense held the Bucks to just 41% shooting as they also went 11-40 from long-range. Denver has been stellar on their 5-game road trip winning 3-straight and is currently on the cusp of taking the 2nd-place slot in the Northwest division from the Portland Trail Blazers. Denver covered the number for the 3rd-straight game as 8-point dogs versus the Bucks.
The Pacers were able to halt a 4-game losing skid versus the Cleveland Cavaliers as they picked up a 3-point road win Wednesday night as the team went on a furious 4th quarter run to erase an 8-point deficit to pick up their 16th win of the season. Malcolm Brogdon posted 29 points on 12-15 shooting while TJ McConnell had a whale of a game on both ends posting 16 points and 13 assists while recording 10 steals and a block on the defensive end as the Pacers shot 57% from the floor. The win gave Indiana some breathing room in the Central division as they are now a half-game ahead of the Chicago Bulls for 2nd in the standings. However, they failed to cover as 6.5-point favorites and are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games.
The Nuggets have picked up wins in 6 of 10 meetings versus the Pacers; However, Indiana has won outright in 3 of their last 5 homers versus Denver. And while these teams have split the spread in the last 10 matchups, the Nuggets have covered in 3 of their last 5 at Banker's Life Fieldhouse.
Jokic makes history in win over BucksJokic continued his stellar play with 37 points, 10 rebounds, along with 11 dimes versus the Bucks to collect his 50th career double-double to become the 2nd center in history other than Wilt Chamberlain to reach this milestone. The center was able to post consecutive 30+ point performances in the contest as the Nuggets have picked up wins in 4 of their last 5 games, overall. Despite shooting 1-5 from 3-point range, Murray finished 10-17 from the floor for 24 points as the Nuggets shot over 55% as a team in the blowout win. Nonetheless, the focus remained on the milestone reached by Jokic.
"He's only 25 years old, which is amazing," Denver coach Michael Malone said to ESPN.com. "Nikola has 50 career triple-doubles, but he also has 20 games [in his career] where he missed a triple-double by either one rebound or one assist. It just speaks to his greatness. The guy doesn't get fatigued; he doesn't get tired." Important to note that Jokic posted 30 and 10 rebounds on 10-16 shooting in his last matchup versus the Pacers in January of last year while going 2-4 from long-range.
Murray did not suit up for the contest, however, Will Barton posted 16 points, albeit on 7-17 FG (0-4 3FG) while Michael Porter, Jr. struggled going just 3-9 from the field for 10 points as the Nuggets shot 47% from the floor. However, the team went just 3-23 from long-range while allowing 50% shooting to the Pacers (13 treys) in the 8-point home loss. Furthermore, TJ Warren, Malcolm Brogdon, along with Domantas Sabonis each had 22 points in the contest with Sabonis recording a triple-double with 15
McConnell player of the game versus CavaliersBrogdon posted 20 or more points for the 2nd-straight game while Domantas Sabonis went 7-12 from the field for 18 points in a much-needed win for the Pacers versus Cleveland Wednesday night. However, the game ball, in my opinion, could very well go to guard McConnell, who posted a triple-double in the contest while also going 8-8 from the floor. Interesting enough, the point guard entered the contest averaging just under 7 points per game on the year while posting double-digit points in only 4 of his last 10 starts. However, McConnell certainly provided a huge spark off the bench to propel his team to a victory.
"I know what I can do defensively. I can get in the passing lanes. I can pressure people and that gets our team going," McConnell said postgame to the IndyStar. "I just tried to do that tonight. We needed a spark." The Pacers now seek to pick up their 2nd-straight win before the All-Star break versus a Denver team that they have picked up wins against in 2 of their last 3 meetings.
Despite this, the Pacers suffered an 8-point home loss versus the Nuggets in their last visit to Banker's Life Fieldhouse January 2nd of last year. In this contest, the Pacers relinquished a 10-point lead after the 1st period to be outscored 97-79 the remainder of the way. Brogdon did not suit up for this contest while Myles Turner went 7-13 from the floor for 21 points while Sabonis came one rebound and one assists shy of a triple double with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 dimes.
Jeremy Lamb went off for 30 points while accounting for 5 of the team's 12 treys. Important to note that Lamb has struggled with injuries this season; Yet, the guard is shooting 49% from the floor along with a solid 47% from long-range in 2020-21.
- Pacers are 1-6 ATS in last 7 games.
- Pacers are 5-11 ATS in last 16 home meetings.
- Nuggets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Nuggets are 11-5 ATS in the last 16 meetings in Indiana.