NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 14th
(All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (47-17) at Philadelphia 76ers (15-49), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers have the luxury of playing the
listless Philadelphia 76ers twice in the next four days and will visit the
City of Brotherly Love Friday night.
The Pacers will host the Sixers on Monday and have beaten them three times in
the last five tries.
Indiana put the brakes on a season-high four-game losing streak the last time
out in a 94-83 victory over the Boston Celtics, as David West led the way with
24 points and both Paul George and George Hill scored 12. The Pacers shot 55
percent from the floor
Andrew Bynum made his Indiana debut and had eight points and 10 rebounds,
helping Indiana secure its first season sweep of the Celtics since 1998-99.
"It's a different location, a different time in my life. I'm looking forward
to just going out and playing. Obviously, the atmosphere is a lot better from
the standpoint that we are winning," Bynum said.
Bynum is expected to miss Friday's game in Philadelphia to rest.
West has led the Pacers in scoring in four of the last six games, averaging
18.2 points in that span. He is a big part of Indiana's inside game and
defense, as the team sits first in the NBA in defensive field goal percentage,
holding opponents to 41.8 percent shooting and allowing an NBA-low 92.0 PPG.
The Pacers allowed 100 or more points in their previous three games before
limiting Boston to 83 on 35 percent shooting.
Indiana will try to snap a three-game road losing streak and is 17-13 as the
visitor this season.
Evan Turner will return to Philadelphia for the first time since being traded
to the Pacers at the deadline.
Philadelphia's chances of halting a season-high 18-game losing streak are slim
with the Eastern Conference-leading Pacers in town.
The 76ers are in rebuilding mode and haven't won since Jan. 29 in a buzzer-
beating episode at Boston. They dropped their 18th consecutive game with
Wednesday's 115-98 setback to Sacramento in the opener of a three-game
homestand and were led by Henry Sims' 20 points and 10 rebounds.
James Anderson and Thaddeus Young scored 17 and 16 points, respectively, while
rookie Michael Carter-Williams added 13 points for the Sixers, who committed
20 turnovers for 21 Sacramento points and shot 39 percent. The 76ers had a
16-7 lead early on before the Kings rallied back.
Philly is averaging a league-high 17.5 turnovers this season.
"We missed a lot of shots, right at the rim, and it gets deflating," said
Sixers coach Brett Brown. "Inch by inch the game got away from us."
Philadelphia lost 20 in a row back in 1973 and fell to 3-28 in its last 31
games. The Sixers have dropped 14 in a row at home, the longest streak in
franchise lore, and are just 2-20 in the past 22 games at Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers are 8-25 overall in front of the home crowd and will also welcome
Memphis to town on Saturday.
03/14 10:28:55 ET