National Basketball Association
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        === Heavyweights clash as Pacers, Spurs meet in San Antonio ===
 ( - Two of the league's very best will battle in the biggest
 matchup  thus far of the regular season Saturday night when the Indiana Pacers
 and San Antonio Spurs night meet at the AT&T Center.
 The Pacers own the NBA's best record and San Antonio isn't far behind with the
 third-best mark in the league.
 Saturday's  battle  should be a  defensive one as the  Pacers are first in the
 league in opponents' scoring and San Antonio is third.
 "We have to play very, very well," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "This is a
 solid,   very  aggressive,  well-rounded  team;  really  well-coached,  really
 disciplined  and  very committed to  where they  want to be  at the end of the
 The  Pacers  are in the midst  of a brutal road  trip where they are 2-1. They
 beat  the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, then fell in another marquee matchup
 to the Portland Trail Blazers.
 Indiana  got back into  the win column with a 95-86 victory over the Utah Jazz
 on  Wednesday. They still have to visit the Oklahoma City Thunder, then return
 home to face the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
 "It's a great opportunity for our team to grow and compete against some of the
 better teams in the NBA," said Pacers forward David West.
 Against  the Jazz, Paul George was his amazing self with 19 points. He led six
 Pacers  in double  figures  including, West,  Roy  Hibbert, Lance  Stephenson,
 George Hill and Luis Scola.
 The  Pacers shot  47.6 percent from the field, but struggled badly from beyond
 the  arc. Indiana went 3-for-16 for 18.8 percent. They did hold the Jazz to 41
 If  Indiana is to vault into the true elite of the league, beating San Antonio
 would  be  a good  place to  start. It  won't be  easy. The  Spurs have won 10
 straight against the Pacers and 11 in a row at home.
 The  Spurs  have been idle  since Monday night when  they gutted out a 102-100
 home win over the Atlanta Hawks.
 San  Antonio was supposed to play the Minnesota Timberwolves in Mexico City on
 Wednesday, but the game was postponed when a generator malfunction outside the
 arena caused the building to fill with smoke. That game will be rescheduled in
 Minnesota at a later date.
 The Spurs had lost two of three until the win over the Hawks. Tim Duncan hit a
 go-ahead  jumper with 0.4  seconds left to polish off a night of 23 points and
 21 rebounds.
 "He  did a great job. We were having a tough night in a lot of ways and he was
 superb," Popovich said of his future Hall of Famer.
 Duncan  led San Antonio, but it was a great group effort on Monday. Boris Diaw
 had 16 off the bench and Tony Parker added 15. Marco Belinelli, Tiago Splitter
 and Manu Ginobili also scored in double figures for the Spurs.
 Splitter  wouldn't  have played in Mexico  with tightness in his left calf. He
 practiced on Friday, but without contact and his coach didn't sound optimistic
 he'd be out there to battle the mammoth frontline of the Pacers.
 "I don't think it looks good," Pop said.
 After  this tough matchup, the Spurs play six of their next seven on the road,
 including a four-game jaunt west.
 The Pacers last won in San Antonio on Jan. 4, 2002.
 12/07 10:47:45 ET