NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, December 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (16-1) at Portland Trail Blazers (14-3), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said his team's
western road trip will be an "early-season barometer."
Judging by Indiana's 105-100 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in the
opener of the trip, the bar of success has been set high.
The NBA-leading Pacers will continue their trip Monday against the competitive
Portland Trail Blazers and sport a remarkable 16-1 record. In leading up to
Sunday's matchup with the Clippers, Vogel talked about the challenging road
"It will be somewhat revealing, but not all-revealing," Vogel said. "If we go
0-5 it doesn't mean we're a disaster, if we go 5-0 it doesn't mean we won the
Paul George led the way against Los Angeles with 27 points and David West
followed with 24 and 12 rebounds. Roy Hibbert had 19 points and eight
rebounds, while George Hill netted 11 points for the Pacers, who made 43.8
percent from the floor and won their seventh in a row.
"This was a tough opponent and a great win for us," said George. "We stuck to
our principles. Our defense is clicking but we can still get better
Indiana has won four straight on the road, owns a 7-1 mark as the guest and
will also make stops in Utah, San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
The Blazers were able to get back in the win column with Sunday's 114-108 road
win over the Lakers. LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points to go along with nine
rebounds, Damian Lillard netted 26 points and handed out nine assists and
Wesley Matthews scored 17 points for Portland, which had its 11-game win
streak stopped with Wednesday's loss at Phoenix.
"We have to find a way to stay consistent. We weathered the storm and won the
game," said Lillard, the NBA's reigning Rookie of the Year.
Robin Lopez chipped in 12 points and 12 boards in the bounce-back effort.
Portland has won five in a row at home and is 6-1 as the host. It is opening a
four-game homestand Monday versus Indiana, Oklahoma City, Utah and Dallas. The
Blazers' last home loss occurred on Nov. 5 versus Houston.
Matthews, meanwhile, is questionable versus the Pacers with a bruised hip.
The Trail Blazers and Pacers split two meetings a season ago and Indiana has
won three of the last four matchups between the teams. Portland has prevailed
in four straight and 10 of the last 15 games at home in this series.
12/02 10:29:58 ET