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News » Pacers-Raptors Preview 2009-11-23

Pacers-Raptors Preview 2009-11-23

Pacers-Raptors Preview 2009-11-23A banged-up bench isn't helping as the Toronto Raptors try to end their slump. Jarrett Jack, though, remains dependable, just as he was with the Indiana Pacers last season.

Jack hopes to get some help from his fellow Raptors reserves as he faces the Pacers on Tuesday night for the first time since leaving as a free agent in the offseason.

With four losses in five games, Toronto (6-8) desperately needs a spark from somebody. The Raptors backups did the best they could without guards Marco Belinelli (groin) and Antoine Wright (ankle) on Sunday, but were outscored 37-22 in a 104-96 loss to Orlando.

Belinelli will be a game-time decision after getting hurt in Friday night's 120-113 win over Miami. He was beginning to give the Raptors consistent scoring, averaging 15.3 points and going 11 for 22 from 3-point range in four games prior to facing the Heat.

Wright, who has missed four of the last five games, is day to day. He started his last game after coming off the bench in his previous nine contests, but his injury limited him to five points and four assists in 17 minutes of a 130-112 loss to Denver last Tuesday.

Jack, meanwhile, has settled nicely into his role as backup to Jose Calderon at point guard. He was held to eight points on 3-of-9 shooting versus the Magic, but tied a career high with 11 assists and added seven rebounds.

Jack averaged 15.4 points and 4.5 assists in 53 games as a starter for the Pacers (5-6) last season. He has not missed a game since the 2006-07 season, when he was with Portland.

Indiana could have used Jack on Sunday, as it finished with a season-low 15 assists in a 104-88 loss to Charlotte.

The Pacers have lost three straight after winning their previous five, and appear to be lacking cohesion as they try to work injured players back into the lineup.

Jeff Foster returned after missing more than three weeks with a sprained ankle, but the center was scoreless and picked up three fouls in nine minutes. Veteran forward Troy Murphy had seven points and eight rebounds in his second game after missing six due to a back injury.

Mike Dunleavy has been cleared to return, but coach Jim O'Brien is being cautious with the swingman, who is bothered by a troublesome right knee. It is uncertain if he will make his season debut this week.

"He has not practiced enough fullcourt that we're comfortable just throwing him out there," O'Brien said. "When he feels like he's in NBA shape, then he'll be back."

Tyler Hansbrough has gotten some of Dunleavy's minutes, but the rookie is still working his way into the rotation after a shin injury kept him out the first four games. Hansbrough had eight points and six rebounds against the Bobcats.

The forward may find himself matched up with Toronto All-Star Chris Bosh at times. Bosh was held to 22 points, 4.6 below his season average, against the Magic.

The Raptors won five of their last six home games against the Pacers even though Bosh was limited to 17.5 points per contest during that span. Toronto and Indiana each won twice at home in last season's series.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 23, 2009


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