NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 9th (All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (46-16) at Dallas Mavericks (37-26), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers have already clinched a playoff berth, but haven't been playing like a contender lately.
The Pacers will try to stop a season-high three-game losing streak Sunday against the Dallas Mavericks in the finale of a three-game road trip.
Indiana dropped its third straight game with Friday's 112-86 setback at Houston, as David West led the way with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Paul George (13) and Luis Scola (10) were the other double-digit scorers for Indiana.
"Every team I've ever been a part of has had a stretch like we're in right now," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said. "It stinks right now. It's not fun right now, but we've got a good team and we'll regroup."
Indiana trailed by as many as 16 in the first half, but whittled the gap to 50-43 going into the break. The Rockets later had a 23-3 run and led by a commanding 73-50 score. The Rockets tallied 17 points off 19 Indiana turnovers and shot 52.6 percent (40-of-76) from the floor.
The Pacers are 1 1/2 games ahead of Miami for the East's top spot and have a 17-12 record away from home. Their current slide comes on the heels of winning five in a row.
Indiana will host Boston on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks are in the eighth spot in the West and were able to stop a three-game slide with a 103-98 triumph over Portland on Friday.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points, Jose Calderon had 19 and Monta Ellis ended with 17 points for the Mavs. Dallas was outscored 36-18 in the third quarter, but got back into it during the final stanza.
"It was a horrible third quarter, and they got going. Give them credit. They hung in, they kept fighting and making plays," Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said.
The Mavs are 20-10 in Big D this season and will start a three-game western trek Tuesday against Golden State, Utah and Oklahoma City.
Dallas defeated Indiana by an 81-73 score on Feb. 12 to stop a three-game slide in this series. The Pacers have lost 11 of 14 trips to Dallas.
03/09 10:55:25 ET