NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 25th (All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (34-8) at Denver Nuggets (20-21), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The NBA-leading Indiana Pacers needed overtime to jump back into the swing of things and hope it gets easier Saturday against the Denver Nuggets in the continuation of their five-game road trip.
The Pacers dropped a 124-100 decision at Phoenix on Wednesday and rebounded two nights later with a 116-111 overtime victory in Sacramento. Paul George scored 12 of Indiana's final 17 points, including a four-point play that forced overtime. He ended with 36 points on 12-of-22 shooting.
All five starters scored in double digits for the Pacers, as Lance Stephenson posted 24 points and 10 rebounds, David West added 22 points, and both Roy Hibbert and George Hill netted 10 points. Hibbert also grabbed 11 rebounds for Indiana, which leads the NBA with a 34-8 record and is tied with Oklahoma City (34-10) for the most wins in the league.
The Kings scored 60 points in the first half and received a combined 80 points from their backcourt duo of Marcus Thornton (42) and Isaiah Thomas (38). But Sacramento was without DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay due to injuries.
"I'm proud of our guys for weathering their storm," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said. "Finding a way to win."
For just the sixth time this season, the Pacers allowed more than 100 points. They also improved to 24-1 versus teams below .500.
Indiana has won 14 of its last 17 games and is 2-1 on its five-game western road trip, which concludes Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Pacers have a 13-7 mark outside of Indy this season.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets have dropped three in a row and four of their last five contests.
On Thursday, LaMarcus Aldridge dropped in a career-high 44 points, including eight clutch free throws in the final 1:07 to send the Portland Trail Blazers over the Nuggets, 110-105.
"Some of the fouls that we committed, just sending (Aldridge) to the line without him really having to work for it, I thought is what hurt us, especially in the fourth quarter," Denver head coach Brian Shaw said.
Wilson Chandler led six Nuggets in double figures with 18 points. Ty Lawson contributed 13 points and 11 assists but was held scoreless in the second half as Denver wasted away a big lead. Lawson has recorded 10 double-doubles in his last 11 games.
Randy Foye (14), Nate Robinson (13), Anthony Randolph (12) and J.J. Hickson (12) also scored in double figures.
Denver, done in by 22 turnovers, blew a 15-point lead.
The Nuggets visit Sacramento on Sunday, then play four straight at home.
The Nuggets, who are 11-9 in the Mile High City, have won four in a row against the Pacers and four straight meetings in Denver. Things could be different this time around because the Pacers are first in opponents' scoring, allowing just 89.7 ppg. Denver is allowing 103.0 ppg.
01/25 10:33:20 ET