Injuries, home losses continue to slow Pacers

Malcolm Brogdon | USA TODAY Sports images

The sudden downward trend is marching on for the Pacers, and now is no time for that.

Granted, the Pacers were shorthanded in Monday’s 109-94 home loss to the San Antonio Spurs — as the Pacers were without two-time All-StarĀ  Domantas Sabonis (sore lower back), defensive player of the year candidate Myles Turner (right foot) and T.J. Warren, out for the season with a stress fracture in his left foot.

And in case that weren’t enough, Sabonis’ replacement, Goga Bitadze, didn’t finish the game, suffering a sprained ankle of his own.

“It’s a challenge,” Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren told reporters. “Goga we wound up playing him a lot more but he sprained his ankle in the first and you could see he was having a hard time getting up and down the floor. So I had to take him out.”

As it stands, the Pacers (26-31) are really struggling, having lost five of their previous six home games, and falling to 9-17 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Now, the playoff play-in game is now in jeopardy.

Despite the injuries, Caris LeVert said this is no time for excuses. LeVert and Malcolm Brogdon each scored 18 to lead Indy.

“It’s the NBA,” LeVert said about the Pacers being shorthanded. “It’s a next-man-up mentality. I feel like Oshae Brissett and Goga did a great job, JaKarr Sampson as well when he was in there. That’s just how it is right now. The season is condensed, there’s little knick-knack injuries everywhere, but every team’s going through it.

“We don’t want to make that an excuse. We’ve got to play better as a team.”

The Pacers face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. Tipoff is 7 p.m. EST.

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of FortyEight Minutes. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for OutKick, Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and NBA.com.

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