Clippers-Pacers Preview

While the Indiana Pacers have struggled at home this season, the

Los Angeles Clippers can’t seem to win no matter where they

play.

The Pacers look to avoid a third straight home defeat while

trying to extend the banged-up Clippers’ losing streak to eight

games Thursday night.

Indiana (4-5) went 23-18 at Conseco Fieldhouse in 2009-10, but

has dropped three of its first five there this season. With the

expect ion of a 144-113 rout of Denver on Nov. 9, the Pacers have

failed to score 100 points in their other four home contests.

A 16-point third quarter doomed Indiana in a 102-92 home loss to

Atlanta on Tuesday. Danny Granger scored 22 points and Roy Hibbert

added 18 with a career-high 15 rebounds, but the Pacers went 4 of

18 from 3-points range.

“We just have to take this and go on,” guard Mike Dunleavy told

the Pacers’ official website.

A visit from the Clippers (1-11) could help the Pacers turn

things around.

Though Los Angeles won the teams’ last meeting, 88-72 at home

Dec. 5, and taken two of three in Indiana, the Clippers have the

NBA’s worst record and allowed 109.1 points per contest during a

seven-game skid that followed a 107-92 win over Oklahoma City on

Nov. 3.

“The guys are battling, fighting,” coach first-year Clippers

coach Vinny Del Negro said.

Still without injured veterans Chris Kaman (sprained left

ankle), Baron Davis (knee) and Randy Foye (strained hamstring), the

Clippers were competitive during a 113-111 loss at Minnesota on

Wednesday.

Eric Gordon scored 30 points and rookie Blake Griffin had 26 and

17 rebounds, but neither could prevent Michael Beasley from hitting

the winning jumper with 2.3 seconds to play.

“We’re right there,” Gordon said. “We’ve been in this situation

seven, eight times and we just let them off the hook.”

The Clippers have dropped 10 consecutive road games and 34 of 38

away from home.

“There’s nothing you can do but keep grinding it out, get ready

for (Thursday),” Del Negro said. “We definitely need to get a win

here, but if we keep battling and sharpen some things up we’ll have

some opportunities.”

The Clippers shot 48.3 percent against the Timberwolves, but

committed 17 turnovers that led to 26 Minnesota points. Los

Angeles’ 205 turnovers rank among the highest in the NBA.

“If you look at it statistically we’re doing some good things,

but the turnovers really hurt us,” Del Negro said.

Gordon has been one of the few Clippers to play consistently

well, averaging 26.6 points and 5.9 assists in seven November

games. However, the Indianapolis native who starred collegiately in

his lone season at Indiana has totaled 21 points on 7-of-20

shooting and recorded two assists in two games against the Pacers

in his hometown.

The Pacers hope to have starting guard Darren Collison and key

reserve Tyler Hansbrough back after ankle injuries kept both out of

Tuesday’s contest.

Collison is averaging 15.1 points and 4.1 assists.