(TORONTO, ON) - The Indiana Pacers open a four-game road trip tonight in Toronto as they face the Raptors.
The Pacers are 7-and-13 and have lost three in a row following a stretch of five consecutive games against division leaders. During that stretch, Indiana beat the defending western conference champion Lakers, lost twice to the defending NBA champion Celtics and were beaten at Orlando and at Cleveland.
The Raptors also lost in Cleveland last night and head into tonight's game riding a five-game slide. The Raptors are a disappointing 8-and-12 and the slow start cost Sam Mitchell his job as head coach. Toronto is currently being coached on an interim basis by Jay Triano and have gone 0-and-3 since the coaching change.
Tonight's game marks Jermaine O'Neal's first game against the Pacers in a Toronto uniform.
O'Neal's frequent injury problems derailed his career in Indiana. He has missed three of the Raptors 20 games this season and is averaging 13 points and eight rebounds per game.
O'Neal was sent to Toronto on the eve of draft night last season in a deal that brought TJ Ford, Rasho Nesterovic and Roy Hibbert to the Pacers.
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