NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 30th (All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (47-27) at Los Angeles Clippers (49-25), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Indiana Pacers have won four in a row, including the first three of this four-game road trip, and will go for perfection Monday night when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Pacers have actually taken seven of their last eight and own a six-game lead over the Chicago Bulls in the Central Division. Indiana is in a virtual tie with the New York Knicks for second place in the Eastern Conference.
"We really got the whole DNA and the makeup to really make a great run," said Paul George. "We're big inside. We got guys that can create and make shots. Our defense is amazing. If we continue to play at this tempo and continue to run and continue to stay consistent defensively, we should be alright."
The undefeated road trip continued on Saturday with a 112-104 victory in Phoenix over the Suns. George led the way with 25 points, but all five starters scored in double figures.
After being in command throughout, the Pacers nearly squandered this one. The Suns made it a one-point game with about three minutes to go, but timely free- throw shooting got the Pacers the victory.
"Sometimes you just gotta win," coach Frank Vogel said postgame. "It's not always going to be a 25-point road win. Any win on the road is a good win. I'm happy to get out of here with a win."
The Clippers dropped two straight to conclude a road trip and are still waiting for that 50th victory. That would be a franchise-first and five of their last eight are at the Staples Center.
The most recent setback for the Clippers came on Saturday, at Houston. The Rockets didn't even have All-Star guard James Harden in the lineup, but handled the Clippers, 98-81.
"They played harder than we did," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We were terrible. Our effort was terrible, our attitude was terrible, our urgency was terrible. Very disappointed. I didn't see the fight in us tonight and we need guys to step up."
Chris Paul led the way with 19 points and seven assists. Jamal Crawford added 15 off the bench and Blake Griffin scored 12. They were the only three Clippers in double figures.
The Clippers are fourth in the Western Conference, just a game behind the Denver Nuggets for third, but just one-half game ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies for fifth.
The Clippers, who have won three straight at home, beat the Pacers in Indianapolis this season and have won two straight at home in this series.
04/01 10:26:10 ET