76ers Host Pacers in South Philadelphia

by Lauren Rosen

The 76ers (22-12) will play their penultimate pre-All-Star matchup Monday, hosting the Indiana Pacers (15-17) at The Center.

Looking to bounce back from their Saturday 112-109 overtime loss to the Cavaliers, the Sixers will also be looking to maintain control of the Eastern Conference prior to the break.

The Sixers currently lead the No. 2 Brooklyn Nets (22-13) by 0.5 games, and No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks (21-13) by 1.0  game.

Monday’s meeting also offers the Sixers a chance to notch their second win of the season against Indiana - and the first one was a memorable one.

In that first meeting between the two teams on Jan. 31, the shorthanded Sixers squad mounted a 31-6 run in the game’s final eight minutes - largely thanks to their 2-3 zone defense - to notch a 119-110 victory.

Stationed at the top of that zone, Ben Simmons’ and Matisse Thybulle’s defensive skills were on full display, as they finished with four steals apiece. Thybulle snagged all four of his steals in the team’s turnaround fourth quarter.

In the absence of Joel Embiid (back), Tobias Harris led the way for the Sixers, finishing with 27 points and eight rebounds in the contest.

Harris, who missed Saturday’s matchup with the Cavaliers (knee contusion), is listed as questionable for Monday’s game.

In that narrow loss Saturday, Embiid led the way for the Sixers, scoring 42 points, plus 13 rebounds, six assists, a steal, and two blocks. Simmons added 24 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, and a steal.

Monday’s matchup tips at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Opponent Outlook:

The Pacers visit the Sixers for the third stop on their four-game road trip. The team lost the first two games on the trip, falling to Boston Friday, 118-112, and New York Saturday, 110-107.

Domantas Sabonis leads the Pacers in scoring (21.4 ppg) and rebounding (11.4 rpg) this season, while former Sixer T.J. McConnell leads the team in sharing (6.7 apg).

In the Pacers’ Saturday loss, McConnell recorded an impressive 17-point, 12-assist double-double, plus six rebounds and two assists.

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Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

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