INDIANAPOLIS — The Los Angeles Clippers will make their only visit to Indianapolis on Sunday night to take on the Indiana Pacers.
Indiana (8-9) will be without Paul George, who is battling ankle and back injuries. The Pacers were able to dominate the Nets on Friday night without their star, but the Clippers present a completely different challenge.
"Tonight is what I feel we can become," coach Nate McMillan of the Pacers said after Friday’s win. "I told the guys we can’t go back. We can’t keep going back and forth. We’ve got to build off of this and establish our identity."
With injuries to Paul George and C.J. Miles, the Pacers have turned to Glenn Robinson III, and he has responded. He scored a career-high 20 points against the Nets.
"Coach told me to always be ready, and to be confident," Robison said.
McMillan added: "He’s really stepped up for us. Offensively, I’m not worried about him. I’m very confident with him on the floor."
The Pacers have had a lot more success at home this season, winning seven of their 11 games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Three of those four losses, however, were without Paul George in the lineup.
The Clippers (14-3) are off to a great start this season, but dropped their last game in Detroit, 108-97. It was their first road loss of the season.
"They came to play," coach Doc Rivers of the Clippers said. "They were ready to play. I thought we just kind of showed up."
The Clippers haven’t lost two straight this season and hope to avoid that again on Sunday.
One reason for the Clippers success is their ability to get to the foul line. Through 17 games, they are taking and making more free throws than any team in the NBA.
"Free throws are a huge part of the game," forward Paul Pierce told the Orange County Register. "If you have a guy that can get to the line or get to the basket down the stretch, that’s a dangerous player."
The Pacers have had some issues containing point guards this season, and Chris Paul is one of the best in the business.
Paul is averaging 19.3 points in the Clippers’ wins, and only 10.7 points in their three losses. He scored 26 in his only game against the Pacers last season, including 11 points in the fourth quarter.
The Clippers are averaging 110.1 points per game, third best in the NBA, while the Pacers are giving up the sixth-most points in the league (107.2)
Indiana hopes its their recent players-only meeting will jumpstart a nice run.
"I wanted to get the guys together and wanted to get them to just start seeing the game differently," Paul George told the Indianapolis Star. "There’s no reason why we can’t communicate on the offensive end."
Last season, the Pacers and Clippers split their two-game series, with both teams winning on the road. The Clippers have won their last two games in Indiana.