NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, March 31st
(All times Eastern)
San Antonio Spurs (57-16) at Indiana Pacers (52-22), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers are reeling and things won't get any
easier on Monday night when they welcome the scorching-hot San Antonio Spurs
to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
It's a matchup of the top teams in each conference, although only one is
playing like it at the moment.
The Spurs have won 17 straight games, the longest streak in the NBA this
The Pacers have lost two in a row, four of five and five of their last seven.
Indiana's lead in the Eastern Conference over the Miami Heat has shrunk to one
"I don't know. Obviously we would've fixed it by now if it was something
simpler," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said after Sunday's loss to the
Cleveland Cavaliers. "We're playing against ourselves right now. It's a level
of play that we're trying to reach that we're not close to where we need to
"We're all frustrated. We just got to win the next game. That's our only
Nothing cures a rut that might cost the Pacers homecourt, which they've held
from the beginning of the season, than a visit from the Spurs, who have won a
franchise-record-tying 17 straight games.
The Spurs haven't lost since Feb. 21 at Phoenix, a span that includes six
consecutive road wins. San Antonio has clinched a playoff spot and is three
games in front of the Oklahoma City Thunder for first in the Western
The Spurs won their last outing Saturday night, a home victory over the New
Orleans Pelicans. San Antonio dispatched its rivals from the Southwest
Marco Belinelli scored 18 points on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc to
lead the Spurs to a 17th straight victory.
"He's been really steady for us and he plays a great all-around game," said
head coach Gregg Popovich. "He's not just a shooter, but he's a good passer.
He's maybe one of our two best cutters on the team without the ball."
The franchise also won 17 games in a row from Feb. 29-March 31, 1996.
Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard each scored 15 points with five rebounds for
San Antonio, while Patty Mills added 13 points in the win.
The Spurs start an important run Monday night. They welcome the Golden State
Warriors on Wednesday night, then visit the Thunder in a crucial matchup
Indiana finished a mini road trip Sunday night with a 90-76 setback in
Cleveland to the Cavaliers. The Pacers have lost five in a row on the road,
but own the league's best home record of 33-4. They've won four straight as
Paul George scored 15 points and grabbed seven boards to pace the Pacers, who
were handed their second straight double-digit defeat following a hard-fought
84-83 win over the Heat on Wednesday.
David West finished with 14 and Lance Stephenson chipped in 11. Those three
were the only double-figure scorers for the Pacers, who shot 37.2 percent from
"We're losing games at an alarming rate to teams that are inferior to us. And
we can't figure out a way to perform better," said West. "We can't figure out
a way to really draw it together. We've done what you do. We've had team
meetings, we've had players-only meetings, we've had players and the coaches.
We're kind of just looking for answers right now."
The Pacers beat the Spurs in San Antonio on Dec. 7 to end an 11-game series
losing streak. The Spurs have won five straight in Indianapolis.
03/31 10:22:04 ET