Pacers vs. Trail Blazers
Weekends are always exciting at NBA shores, and this Sunday is no different. After battling a grueling four-quarter match in November 2021, the Pacers will love to settle scores when they host the Trail Blazers on their home turf.
In short, Sunday’s match at Gainbridge Fieldhouse can recall some memories where late finishes from marquee players are on the cards again. Robert Covington killed the match for the Pacers as he scored a 3-pointer in the dying moments of their November encounter.
Meanwhile, Pacers will be determined to overturn their fortune and repeat the performance from their January 2021 encounter. The Pacers matched the Trail Blazers neck-in-neck back then and will be hoping that their home advantage will rule the match in their favor.
Date: 20th March 2022
Time: 3:30 PM ET
Venue: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
Looking at their past encounter
After a dominating performance at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in April 2021, the Trail Blazers returned to their home turf to host the Pacers in a crucial season fixture. The Rip City players were confident after their previous encounter and wanted to continue their dominance in the November encounter.
However, the Pacers left no scopes of an easy victory, as the Trail Blazers had to work hard on the ground to earn their points. The Pacers matched their opponent neck-in-neck and were even ahead with one point after the end of the third quarter.
Nonetheless, a late flourish from Robert Covington and overall performance by CJ McCollum sealed the game for the Trail Blazers. Covington clinched the match with a 3-pointer in the game’s dying moments, diffusing the Pacers’ hope of avenging their previous loss.
The first quarter
The opening quarter was one-sided as the Trail Blazers flew off to a flying start. The Pacers seemed clueless as they started the game missing their combination and passing skills. This confusion led the Trail Blazers to rack up a 16-point lead in the opening half.
However, the Pacers found their combination and closed the gap, with the Trail Blazers leading the scoreline by 5 points.
The second quarter
With so much to conquer, the Pacers pushed their a-game and found their baskets at will. Although the Pacers stepped into the game without Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert and other players stepped up to offer some resistance.
Despite valiant efforts from the Pacers, the Trail Blazers continued their dominance as they took a six-point lead after the second round. The Pacers had to work fast and lift their game to diminish the Rip City assault.
The Penultimate quarter
The third quarter gave some refuge for the Pacers as they edged past their opponents with impressive gameplay and combination. After lagging for the first two quarters, the Pacers had no room for error as players like LeVert and Sabonis stepped up to keep the Pacers close.
The Trail Blazers lacked composure as the Pacers sprinted around the court, judging every move to perfection. Sabonis’ layup helped the Pacers gain crucial points, with other players chipping in points as they built up the pressure.
The third quarter was fruitful for the Pacers as they dominated the proceedings with precision passes and successful shots. Although the Trail Blazers restored disparity, the Pacers managed to lead the overall scoreline with one point as the third quarter closed to a 30/23 scoreline.
In short, the Pacers gave themselves a breathing point for the first time in the match, while the Trail Blazers had to go back to their drawing boards for decisive action plans.
The final chapter
With a one-point advantage over their opponent, the pacers entered the fourth quarter, aiming to boost their lead. While the match saw a steady start in the fourth quarter, the Pacers racked up 11 points on the trot, achieving a seven-point lead to go up 97-90 with under 4 minutes left on the clock.
However, Jusuf Nukic’s layup snapped this lead with 3-pointer contributions from Covington and McCollum. McCollum extended the lead with a perfect layup as the Trail Blazers went up 102-101 with 3 minutes left on the clock.
Covington extended the lead with a perfect 3-pointer taking the game away from the Pacers. However, Sabonis and Turner reduced the lead with the scores reading 107-106 as the match entered the final minute.
While both teams felt the intensity of a close game, Covington setup a brilliant move to hit a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left and sealed the match for the Trail Blazers.
Covington ended the match with 19 points, while McCollum racked up 27 points as the Trail Blazers snapped their losing streak.
The Pacers expected more from Caris LeVert as the star player only managed to score 12 points in the match. Although the Pacers dominated the second half, heroics from Covington made the difference for the Trail Blazers, continuing their dominance on the Indiana team.
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What to expect from the 20th March encounter?
The Sunday encounter between the Trail Blazers and the Pacers will be exciting as several NBA stars take center stage. You can expect matchups between Anfernee Simons and Buddy Heild or Jusuf Nurkic and Oshae Brissett.
Likewise, the Tyrese Haliburton will be keen to provide more assists than Eric Bledsoe, while the latter will be determined to avenge their previous defeat. In short, the Pacers vs. Trail Blazers match of Sunday will be the perfect NBA destination for every basketball enthusiast.
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