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INDIANAPOLIS – Even with some unfortunate injury news on the longest road trip of the season, the Pacers kept moving up in the standings.

 

Indiana completed a 4-1 road trip on Sunday, earning a third straight start winning road trip this season (on trips of at least 5 games).

 

Finishing off the trip with two straight wins started with a 108-102 victory in Chicago on Friday night.

 

Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers with 24 points and 12 rebounds.

 

The Pacers (39-25) were able to overcome 21 turnovers, by getting to the foul line 33 times. Jakar Sampson (14 points in 17 minutes) and Edmond Sumner (12 points in 24 minutes) gave a banged-up Indiana team some key minutes.

 

In closing out the trip on Sunday, the Pacers played some great defense late to earn a 112-109 victory in Dallas.

 

Sabonis again led Indiana with 20 points and 17 rebounds. Myles Turner, T.J. Warren and Victor Oladipo all scored 16.

 

The Sabonis/Turner duo combined for 36 points and 30 rebounds as the Pacers were playing without Malcolm Brogdon (quad) and Doug McDermott (toe).

 

Sunday’s victory came with the Pacers coming back from being down 5 points in the final few minutes, as Warren fouled out late.

 

Some big-time plays from Turner and Oladipo led to the win.

 

The Pacers overcame 36 points from Dallas star Luka Doncic.

 

Indiana now returns home on Tuesday to take on Boston in their lone home game in the first three and a half weeks of March.

Three Things Learned

-Malcolm Brogdon To Miss Time: It was easily the biggest red flag in giving up the resources Indiana did to acquire Malcolm Brogdon. What about those injuries? Well, the injury storyline for Brogdon has come to Indiana, too. A torn left quad muscle has Brogdon listed at ‘week-to-week,’ which means Brogdon might miss a chunk of Indiana’s final 18 games. Injuries (hip, thumb, concussion, back) have now sidelined Brogdon for a quarter of the season—16 of 64 games. There were injury questions on Brogdon coming out of Virginia in 2016. He missed 7 games as an NBA rookie, 34 games two years ago and 26 games last season (including the playoffs). Giving up a first-round pick, and paying a guy $20 million a year, for him to play in only 75 percent of games is a steep price. And this current injury situation comes obviously at a critical time in the season, when Brogdon had recently gotten back to the high-level of play we saw from him in the late fall.

-Another Successful Road Trip: For the third time this season, the Pacers have won at least 3 games on a 5-game road trip. That’s quite a feat and shouldn’t be overlooked. After a couple of 3-2 trips, the Pacers went 4-1 on this longest trip of the season. Those trips are certainly a big reason why Indiana has maintained a shot at homecourt in the Eastern Conference. At 2 games behind the Heat, it’s still an uphill climb for Indiana to get that No. 4 seed. The Pacers will see the Heat twice more this season and it would be well-served to get those two games, as they can’t win the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Heat. Indiana has the most home losses of any Eastern Conference team in the top six of the standings, but road success (like this recent trip) is something they’d love to see translate to April.

-Lance Reunion? The murmurs we heard when Jeremy Lamb went down has grown to a little louder conversation. Shams Charnia of The Athletic is reporting that Lance Stephenson is in ‘strong talks’ with the Pacers about a potential deal. It would be a third different stint that Lance has had with the fan base who adores him. But how successful would another reunion be? Meh. Without question, the Pacers could probably use another body in the backcourt. However, the reality of Lance coming back would mean fewer minutes and a decreased role for young pieces Aaron Holiday and Edmond Sumner. Also, a facilitating T.J. McConnell has been tremendous running the show for the second unit this year. Would a ball dominant Lance offer the same success with faces he’s never played with? The Pacers are already trying to get different guys used to playing together throughout the rotation. I can’t see Lance offering a whole lot of serious help, and it could stunt the growth via opportunities that Holiday and Sumner are currently getting.

 

Pacers Upcoming Schedule

-Celtics 3/10 (Tuesday)

-at 76ers 3/14 (Saturday)

-Warriors 3/18 (Wednesday)

-Heat 3/20 (Friday)

-Cavaliers 3/21 (Saturday)