NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, December 13th
(All times Eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (10-12) at Indiana Pacers (19-3), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers, fresh off their huge victory over
the Miami Heat, will welcome the Charlotte Bobcats to Bankers Life Fieldhouse
After a 3-2 western road trip where the losses came to the Portland Trail
Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder, the Pacers returned home Tuesday night to
defeat the two-time defending NBA champs, 90-84.
Indiana trailed the first half, but battled back admirably. Paul George had 12
of his 17 points in the third quarter, a 12-minute stretch the Pacers won by
As always, the Heat had no answer, either offensively or defensively, for Roy
Hibbert. The Indiana big man finished with a game-high 24 points and David
West, the third member of the Pacers frontline, also had 17. Lance Stephenson
The victory, which padded Indiana's lead over Miami in the Eastern Conference
to three games, left the Pacers coach impressed.
"Everybody's going to talk about this team's talent, but this team has
incredible will and heart and desire to do whatever it takes, and that's what
it's about on the basketball court," Frank Vogel said. "It's the ability to
whatever needs to happen for us to get a win, that's what they do and they
find a way."
As if the Pacers need it, what with the best record in the league and all, but
there is a big opportunity for improvement. Danny Granger, a former All-Star,
could return from a strained left calf as early as Friday against the Bobcats.
"The knee is not an issue at all," said Granger, who missed basically all of
last season with a knee problem. "A week ago it was the calf, but the calf is
pretty good now. I'm pretty much over that. Now, it's just conditioning."
The Bobcats had a two-game winning streak halted on Wednesday when the Orlando
Magic defeated them in Charlotte, 92-83. The Bobcats only shot 37 percent from
They only scored 42 points in the first half, but trailed by one. The Magic
padded the cushion in the third quarter, then held Charlotte off in the final
"Our readiness to start the game was poor," said Bobcats coach Steve Clifford.
"And at the end of the game they did a good job, and we got outworked on the
Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with a whopping 12 points. Josh McRoberts
added 11 and Kemba Walker, Cody Zeller and Al Jefferson all finished with 10
points. Jefferson grabbed 11 rebounds.
The Pacers bested the Bobcats, 99-74, in Charlotte on Nov. 27 and have taken
four in a row and 13 of 14 meetings in this series. Indiana is 14-3 all-time
against the Bobcats in Indianapolis.
12/13 10:28:54 ET