NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, February 10th
(All times Eastern)
Denver Nuggets (24-25) at Indiana Pacers (39-11), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers failed in their bid to become the
first Eastern Conference team with 40 wins, so they'll try again Monday versus
the Denver Nuggets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers headed to Orlando riding a four-game winning streak and even
possessed a 17-point lead late in the third quarter. However, the Magic, who
were coming off a buzzer-beating win over Oklahoma City, stormed back with a
huge run to take control for a 93-92 victory.
Indiana had a chance at the end for the win, but a well-defended Paul George
saw his 18-foot attempt miss the mark. George led all scorers with 27 points
and Lance Stephenson returned from injury to record 16 points and nine
rebounds for Indiana, which had won four in a row against the Magic.
"There was a stretch there in the third where we could have put them away. We
were a little bit careless with some possessions where we could have put them
away, and it was costly," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel.
David West (14) and George Hill (12) rounded out the double-digit scorers.
The Pacers will start a three-game homestand Monday versus Denver, Dallas and
Atlanta, and have won three straight as the host. They own an NBA-best 24-2
mark at home and are outscoring opponents by 14.3 points per game as the host.
Indiana is 7-1 against the West at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Nuggets will resume their four-game road trip and fell to 0-2 on the trek
following losses at New York and Detroit. The Knicks hammered the Nuggets
117-90 and the Pistons recorded a 126-109 triumph on Saturday, when Denver
lost every quarter and shot 46.6 percent.
Randy Foye and Wilson Chandler scored 25 and 20 points, respectively, while
J.J. Hickson added 15 points to go with 16 rebounds. The Nuggets were able to
pull within 106-100 midway through the fourth quarter, but Detroit used a 10-4
burst to pull away. The Nuggets have lost seven of the last 11 games.
"As a team, as a group, we have to do a better job of fighting. We can make
shots, we can hit threes, but when it comes down to getting stops, we have to
do it," said Foye, who is averaging 17.2 ppg in his last 17 contests.
Nuggets point guard and leading scorer Ty Lawson (18.0 ppg) suffered a
fractured rib late in the first half and did not return. He is expected to
miss Monday's game.
Denver is 10-14 away from the Mile High City and will close the trip Wednesday
The Nuggets have given up at least 100 points in seven straight games and are
28th in the NBA in opponents' scoring (103.9 ppg). They defeated Indiana
109-96 on Jan. 25 at the Pepsi Center behind Chandler's 25 points.
Stephenson tallied 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in that one for
Indiana, which has lost five in a row, seven of eight and 15 of the last 18
matchups in this series. Denver has won seven of nine games in Indy.
02/10 10:28:00 ET