NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, January 28th
(All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (34-9) at Los Angeles Lakers (16-29), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers will try to escape their western road
trip with a winning record Tuesday night as they visit the Staples Center to
face the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Pacers, still the owners of the NBA's best mark and the only team in the
league with single-digit losses, are 2-2 on their sojourn. They bested the
Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings, but fell to the Phoenix Suns and
The Denver loss was most recent, a 109-96 setback on Saturday night.
Down 19 at the half, the Pacers scored the first 11 points before Denver went
on a run. Indiana cut it to six early in the fourth, but the Nuggets did
enough to prevail.
Lance Stephenson led the way with 23 points and 10 rebounds, followed by 18
points and 11 boards from All-Star Paul George. David West added 16 and George
Hill finished with 10.
Both Roy Hibbert and backup center Ian Mahinmi fouled out as the Pacers racked
up 27 fouls. Couple that number with 17 turnovers and there's the recipe for
"As is the case with most of our losses, we fouled too much with 27 fouls and
we turned the ball over too much with 17 turnovers," said Pacers coach Frank
Vogel. "Those two things have led to most of our losses."
The Lakers return home after a long annual road trip to accommodate the
Grammys being held at the Staples Center. This season, LA went 2-5 on the
odyssey with four of the five losses coming in a row at the end of the trip.
The Lakers last loss came in Madison Square Garden, a 110-103 defeat at the
hands of the New York Knicks.
Jodie Meeks went 6-of-8 from 3-point range to pace the Lakers with 24 points,
while Pau Gasol had 20 along with 13 rebounds. Manny Harris ended with 18
points for Los Angeles.
"Again, we just find a way to lose," Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni remarked.
"It just oozes away from us."
With the Lakers back home, there were several updates on the injury front.
The biggest story was a non-story as Kobe Bryant won't be evaluated until
Steve Nash was expected to go through practice on Monday, but "tweaked his
back" according to team spokesman John Black, who stated it was unrelated to
the nerve root irritation injury that has sidelined Nash for months.
Steve Blake (elbow) and Jordan Farmar (hamstring) have not been cleared to
practice. Xavier Henry is at least two weeks away from a return and Meeks and
Gasol were held out of practice on Monday, but both are expected to play on
"You try to stay positive," D'Antoni said after practice on Monday. "Guys are
getting a little bit better. We have to stay competitive. It would be really
good to get these guys back."
The two teams split last season's matchups, but Indiana has won three straight
as the visitor in this series.
01/28 10:33:41 ET