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- Coming off a sweep of the only three-game, three-night set in the NBA this season – winning all by double figures – Indiana Coach Frank Vogel gave his players extended rest with no practice Thursday and no shootaround Friday morning. “This is still our fourth game in five nights and there is still an element of fatigue,” he said. “We have to make sure we bring great energy and great focus even in spite of any fatigue we might feel.”
- Paul George was an iron-man in the back-to-back-to-back set, playing 123½ of a possible 144 minutes – an average of 41.2 per game. He produced averages of 21.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.67 steals and hit .471 from the 3-point line. He also attempted 25 free throws, 8.3 per game, more than double his season average of 3.2.
- Rudy Gay didn’t have much luck against George while with Memphis. In two meetings this season, Gay totaled 25 points on 10 of 39 shooting (.256), but Vogel said those numbers aren’t relevant to tonight’s matchup because Gay is playing much differently with the Raptors. “He was more of a system guy (in Memphis),” Vogel said. “Coming in now, he’s thirsty for shots, looking to be that scorer, that main go-to guy, 21 field goal attempts per game, shooting the 3-ball now. We’ve got a big, big challenge in guarding him.”
- Toronto has dropped two of three since acquiring Gay but he has not disappointed, leading the team in scoring in each while averaging 24.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.67 steals. He has struggled to find the range on his 3-point shot, hitting 5 of 18 (.267).
- Indiana has won five in a row overall, its longest streak of the season and 15 straight at home, its longest since the franchise-record 25-game streak in the 1999-00 season the team’s first in Bankers Life Fieldhouse (it was then known as Conseco Fieldhouse).
- Sam Young (flu) will miss tonight’s game for Indiana, with Gerald Green picking up his minutes. The Raptors are without Landry Fields (back spasms) and Linas Kleiza (sore right knee).
- Conrad Brunner