NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Indiana 15 36 29 26 106
New York 20 24 21 33 98
4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 PM CT23:30 , February 21, 2020
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York  Attendance: 19,812

Oladipo, Pacers start stretch run against Knicks

According to STATS
According to STATS

Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks

  1. These teams last met in a 92-85 New York win on February 1. The Pacers are 0-8 this season when scoring fewer than 100 points, while the Knicks are 3-15 when scoring fewer than 100.
  2. The Pacers snapped a season-long six-game losing streak with a 118-111 win over the Bucks in their final game before the break. Each of Indiana's last nine games have been decided by 10 points or fewer, the longest active such streak in the NBA.
  3. Domantas Sabonis has led the Pacers in rebounding in 50 of 55 games, the most times any player has led his team in rebounding this season. The last Indiana player to lead the team in rebounding more often in a single season was Troy Murphy in 2009-10 (led team 55 times).
  4. The Knicks set season lows in both threes made (3) and three-point percentage (13.0%) in a 114-96 loss to Washington. New York has made fewer than 10 three-pointers in an NBA-high 29 games this season.
  5. Elfrid Payton has recorded a steal in 13 consecutive games, the third-longest active streak in the NBA behind Anthony Davis (14) and Russell Westbrook (14).
  6. Julius Randle has led the Knicks in scoring and rebounding in eight games since January 1. The only players to lead their teams in points and rebounds in the same game more often over that time are Giannis Antetokounmpo (15) and Luka Doncic (9).

As the Indiana Pacers begin their march toward the playoffs with Friday's visit to the New York Knicks, they'll be doing so with a healthy Victor Oladipo, who is ready to ramp up his minutes.

Oladipo will be playing in his eighth game since missing a little more than a year with a ruptured quadriceps injury. In the first seven games, he averaged 25 minutes and did not play more than 29 minutes in any game.

On Wednesday, coach Nate McMillan told reporters that doctors cleared Oladipo to start playing 32 to 34 minutes, which is on par with his career average of 33.1 minutes per game.

"He's pretty happy about that," McMillan said. "But we're going to be smart about it. I can play him as many minutes as I want, but we'll look at how he comes out of those games with increased minutes and adjust accordingly."

Last season, Oladipo averaged 31.9 minutes and 18.8 points before getting hurt. Two years ago, in his first season with the Pacers, he averaged 23.1 points while playing 34 minutes.

So far, Oladipo is averaging 11.1 points while shooting 32.9 percent from the floor. He entered the All-Star break on an encouraging note by scoring 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting in a 118-111 home win over Milwaukee on Feb. 12.

The win over the Bucks broke a season-high six-game losing streak that saw the Pacers lose two one-point games but did little to negatively impact their hold on sixth in the Eastern Conference.

"They're starting to get used to me being back out there, but now it's time to focus on bigger goals," Oladipo said.

One of the games in the losing skid was a 92-85 home loss to the Knicks on Feb. 1. Oladipo was 2-of-14 shooting in that game, and the Pacers scored just 11 points in the first quarter and 14 in the fourth.

The win in Indiana began a four-game winning streak for the Knicks, but two defeats followed. New York headed into the All-Star break with a 114-96 home loss to Washington on Feb. 12 when they were outscored 37-23 in the fourth quarter and missed 20 of 23 3-point tries.

While the Knicks are playing better of late and are 13-20 since firing David Fizdale and replacing him with Mike Miller on Dec. 6, most of the focus over the final two months will be on who the next coach could be.

Steve Stoute, New York's branding consultant, told ESPN recently that a new coach would be in place next season. The Knicks eventually released a statement to disavow those comments, and Miller has shrugged off the speculation.

"He's focused on us every day, preparing us every day the best way he can," Knicks forward Julius Randle said of Miller after practice on Wednesday. "He's never too high, never too low. If we have a loss, after the game, he's not super emotional."

Miller's first game was a 104-103 home loss to Indiana on Dec. 7 when Randle missed a free throw with 0.1 seconds left.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 20, 2020

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