Los Angeles—Indiana big man Myles Turner broke his nose in a collision with John Collins Monday in the Pacers’ 116-108 NBA victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Turner contributed 20 points before departing in the fourth quarter, with the Pacers announcing the diagnosis shortly thereafter.
The four-year NBA veteran, who is averaging 12.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and a career-high 2.8 blocks in 35 games this season, also had eight rebounds and four blocks for the Pacers, who head into 2019 on a five-game winning streak.
Pacers star Victor Oladipo, who suffered a facial fracture in a pre-season practice in 2014, said he’d give Turner some tips if his teammate has to wear a protective mask when he returns to court.
“I’ve worn a mask before, I’ll give him some pointers,” Oladipo said. “The mask has secret powers so he’ll be all right.”
Oladipo led the Pacers with 22 points, seven assist, and five steals.
After a strong third quarter Indiana built their lead to 17 points early in the fourth before the Hawks trimmed the deficit to six with less than two minutes to play.
“They’re a really good team, especially offensively,” Oladipo said. “We did a great job of digging down and getting stops when we needed it.”
The Pacers, who improved to 25-12, are third in the Eastern Conference but Oladipo said they have their sights on doing more.
“We’re doing pretty good, but we can be better, man, that’s what’s scary about it,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of room to improve. We have bigger goals.”