SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Center Myles Turner will miss Monday night's game against the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors with a sore hamstring, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said pregame, joining a lengthening list of key Pacers contributors who will be out due to illness or injury. Rookie Bennedict Mathurin will start for the first time in his place as the Pacers will be using a smaller lineup.
Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton had already been ruled out with a sore groin. He played through the injury Friday night against the Utah Jazz, but was ruled out for both Sunday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers and Monday night's game. Backup point guard T.J. McConnell was listed as questionable on Monday due to a non-COVID illness that held him out of Sunday's game, and Carlisle said he will also be held out. Also, veteran forward James Johnson will be held out with a sprained elbow.
The Pacers were already missing guard Chris Duarte with an ankle injury that has kept him out since Nov. 4 and center Daniel Theis, who hasn't played all season after knee surgery. The Pacers will likely have to rely on G-League two-way players Kendall Brown and Trevelin Queen for minutes.
"We got a list of guys that are available," Carlisle said. "We have to have them ready to go. It's pretty simple. It's a tough back-to-back, it's pretty obvious. But it's 48 minutes. We'll keep five guys out there that are going to attack and go hard. We'll throw the kitchen sink at these guys and see what's what."
Carlisle said Turner's hamstring is just sore and he hopes it's not a long-term issue. In the final year of his contract, Turner is having the best statistical season of his career, averaging career highs in scoring (17.6 points per game), rebounding (8.1 rpg), field goal percentage (.544) and 3-point field goal percentage (.394). He posted 24 points and nine rebounds against the Blazers.
With Turner out, power forward Jalen Smith will switch to center and the Pacers will start three wings along with point guard Andrew Nembhard -- Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith and Mathurin. Mathurin is second on the Pacers in scoring with 18.5 points per game, but Carlisle has made a point to continue bringing him off the bench until now.
With Haliburton, the NBA's leader in assists, and the veteran McConnell out for the second night in a row, that will likely mean another long night for Nembhard, the rookie who played 37 minutes and posted 16 points and eight assists Sunday.
"I felt comfortable," Nembhard said. "I've been a lead guard most of my career. I got a lot of work in ball screens. I felt comfortable in that role and it's just good experience for me getting better."
The 6-7, 240-pound Johnson handled point guard duties briefly on Sunday, so his absence means the Pacers are down yet another ball-handler. Queen played 13 minutes on Sunday, many at the point. He posted one assist and two turnovers.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Pacers vs. Warriors: Myles Turner, Tyrese Haliburton out with injury