Pacers look to reverse recent run of bad luck in San Antonio
Following a string of easy victories, the San Antonio Spurs got the kind of game they felt they needed last time out.
The Indiana Pacers were competitive against the Spurs last season, but their recent games away from home suggest the first meeting this season might go differently.
The Spurs will try to extend their franchise-record home win streak while continuing their recent dominance over the Pacers and send them to a fifth consecutive road defeat Monday night.
San Antonio had won its previous four games by an average of 25.7 points before a 115-107 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. The Spurs (23-5) outscored the visitors 30-19 in the fourth quarter in their 24th consecutive home win, which includes a franchise-best 15-0 start this season.
"This is good for us," forward LaMarcus Aldridge said. "It makes us focus at the end of the game, not be so easy. I thought our guys played well down the stretch."
Aldridge tied a season high with 26 points and had 13 rebounds while Tony Parker chipped in 21 points, his most in a month.
"I felt like we really saw the LaMarcus we’re going to need if we’re going to make any kind of run," Parker said.
The Spurs beat Indiana by a combined eight points in last season’s two meetings and made a shot with 2.1 seconds left for a 95-93 road victory Feb. 9, coach Gregg Popovich’s 1,000th.
They have won 14 of 15 over the Pacers (16-10) and 12 of the past 13 home meetings.
Indiana is heading into San Antonio having lost its past four road games by an average of 12.3 points and had a three-game overall win streak snapped with a 96-84 loss at Memphis on Saturday.
The Pacers, among the Eastern Conference leaders with 103.0 points per game, were held to 39 percent shooting and a 5-of-28 night from 3-point range in their second-worst scoring performance this season. They matched a season low with 16 points in the first quarter.
Paul George had 29 points but no other Pacer had more than 13.
"It’s a tough one, but we have another one on Monday and we have to get ready for San Antonio," guard Monta Ellis told the team’s official website. "We have to put this one behind us and keep moving."
Ellis averaged 28 points on 58 percent shooting in four games against the Spurs last season while with Dallas, his highest mark versus any opponent.
Rodney Stuckey averaged 20 points in his first two matchups in his first season in Indiana.
Aldridge had 22.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in his final five matchups against the Pacers while with Portland. Parker is averaging 21.6 points on 52.3 percent shooting in his last five.
Manu Ginobili had 28 points in the Spurs’ 106-100 home victory over Indiana last season.
- FOX Sports Indiana
- Indiana Pacers
- LaMarcus Aldridge
- Manu Ginobili
- Monta Ellis
- Paul George
- Rodney Stuckey
- San Antonio Spurs
- Tony Parker