On Saturday night, the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers meet for the second time this month at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks have lost two of their last three games since a nine-game winning streak, capped off by a 122-108 defeat to the Mavericks on Thursday with a skeleton roster.
Jalen Brunson sat out for the Knicks, as he hopes to return on Saturday, while backcourt partner Donte DiVincenzo scored 36 points in the loss.
DiVincenzo has been on a heater of late, averaging 29.2 points over his last six games.
The Pacers have dropped four of their last six contests, including a 22-point home loss to the Warriors on Thursday.
Indiana closed as six-point favorites but fell behind by 11 after the first quarter and never recovered.
Tyrese Haliburton, still on a minutes restriction, was limited to five points in 25 minutes.
In the last matchup between the Knicks and Pacers on Feb. 1, Indiana jumped out to a 15-point lead but fell apart in a 109-105 loss.
Brunson scored 40 points in the win even though New York shot 8-of-38 from 3-point range.
In the first meeting this season on Dec. 30 in Indianapolis, the Pacers torched the Knicks, 140-126.
Like Thursday night’s loss to the Mavericks, New York played short following a trade with the Raptors for OG Anunoby.
|Pacers -3.5 (-110)
|Over 231.5 (-110)
|Knicks +3.5 (-110)
|Under 231.5 (-110)
Haliburton scored 22 points and dished out 23 assists for Indiana, which has not broken the 130-point mark on the road since Dec. 11 at Detroit.
Pascal Siakam was dealt to the Pacers from the Raptors last month as his shooting numbers have improved on 2-point and 3-point attempts since the trade.
Siakam is averaging 21.8 points per game, but scored 18 points in the loss to New York earlier this month.
Speaking of trades, the Knicks made a big one at the deadline on Thursday, acquiring Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks from Detroit for four players and two draft picks.
While both players should be available, its uncertain how much playing time they’ll receive against the Pacers.
Tom Thibodeau is a baptism-by-fire type of coach.
When the Knicks acquired Anunoby at the end of December, Thibs threw the small forward into his starting lineup in Game 1 and gave him 35 minutes.
Betting on the NBA?
With all of the injuries New York is currently dealing with and with a desperate need of scoring punch, it wouldn’t be surprising if a similar plan was put in place for Bogdanovic and Burks on Saturday night.
Bogdanovic was averaging 21.2 points for the Pistons this season, while Burks had been chipping in 16.7 per game off the bench since Jan. 1.
We’ll see if Brunson suits up for the Knicks, but either way, look for the Pacers to get revenge on Saturday for the loss at the Garden nine days ago as the banged-up Knicks try to integrate their new pieces.
Pick: Pacers -3.5 (-110, BetMGM)