The Indiana Pacers have enjoyed considerably more success on the road than at home this season.
The Pacers will vie for their fourth straight road victory on Wednesday night when they play the Houston Rockets to open a three-game trek.
Indiana saw its overall three-game winning streak end with a 126-115 setback to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. The loss was the Pacers’ 10th in their past 12 home games.
“(Wednesday) night is a must-win for us,” Indiana’s Malcolm Brogdon said. “Regardless of the back-to-back, regardless of being on the road, we have to win that game.”
Brogdon has scored 29 points in back-to-back contests, making 22-of-39 shots from the floor and 8-of-17 from 3-point range during the past two games. He sank 13-of-25 shots — including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc — to highlight a 35-point performance in the Pacers’ 114-107 victory over Houston on Jan. 6.
Indiana shot itself in the foot while getting outscored 26-18 in the fourth quarter Tuesday against the Clippers. The Pacers made just 7-of-23 shots from the floor — 2-of-13 from 3-point range — over the game’s final 12 minutes.
“I put that on myself. I missed a lot of easy ones, some catch-and-shoot ones, missed some layups as well,” said Caris LeVert, who finished with 26 points despite a 1-for-8 performance from 3-point range. “I’ll be better down the stretch for sure.”
Indiana might also receive a boost as coach Nate Bjorkgren told reporters there is a chance Myles Turner (ankle) could return from a four-game absence on Wednesday. The defensive specialist leads the NBA by averaging 3.5 blocks per game.
While the Pacers are keeping an eye on a potential play-in game in the postseason, Houston has had little reason to look at the standings for quite some time. The reeling Rockets dropped their third game in a row and 30th in 33 outings with a 126-120 setback at the Phoenix Suns on Monday.
Houston was down by 23 points at halftime before pulling within five with 5:45 to play in the game.
“We’re a resilient team. We have a lot of guys that are going to fight, claw,” promising center Christian Wood said. “We have a bunch of guys on this team that take pride in what they do, especially Avery (Bradley) and John (Wall), those defensive guys. So at halftime, our message was to just communicate and try to pick up the energy and be better in the second half, and I think we did that.”
Wood collected 25 points and 15 rebounds in that game. He has made 27-of-44 shots from the floor over the past three games. Second-year guard Kevin Porter Jr. had 22 points and 14 assists.
Wall struggled to find his range, making just 5-of-20 shots from the field — 3-of-10 from 3-point range — to finish with 13 points. He had a team-high 28 points in the first meeting with the Pacers.
–Field Level Media