NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 22nd
(All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (41-13) at Milwaukee Bucks (10-44), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers took down Danny Granger's banner at
Bankers Life Fieldhouse following his trade to Philadelphia.
The Pacers will move on from the Granger days when they visit the Central
Division-rival Milwaukee Bucks Saturday at the Bradley Center.
Indiana made the biggest move prior to the NBA trade deadline by acquiring
Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen from the 76ers in exchange for Granger, a former
All-Star turned role player, and a 2015 second-round pick.
"We felt we needed to make this trade to strengthen the core unit and our
bench," said Indiana president of basketball operations Larry Bird. "In Evan
and Lavoy, we think we got two really good players that can help us and we
look forward to what they can bring."
Turner, the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft, averaged a team-best 17.4 points
with 6.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists in his fourth NBA season. He will be a
restricted free agent this summer and is expected to play Saturday. To make
room on the roster, Indiana will release guard Orlando Johnson.
Granger, 30, has spent his entire career with Indiana, averaging 17.6 points
and earning an All-Star birth in 2009. Granger is reportedly upset with the
trade and is allegedly seeking a buy-out in hopes of catching on with a
"We thank Danny for his eight-and-a-half seasons with us and we appreciate
everything he did for us in his time here," said Bird.
The East-leading Pacers are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Miami Heat for conference
supremacy and have alternated wins and losses over the past six games. In
Wednesday's 104-91 loss at Minnesota, Paul George went toe-to-toe with Wolves
star Kevin Love and compiled 35 points on 11-of-22 shooting and 11 rebounds.
Love, though, had 42 points and 16 boards, making 14-of-22 from the field and
sinking five of his 10 3-point attempts.
"You have to give him (Love) credit. He is an extraordinary player and he
played an extraordinary game tonight," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.
George Hill scored 13 points and Lance Stephenson added 10 and 10 rebounds for
the Pacers, who have lost two straight on the road and are 15-10 as the
visitor. Indiana will play two in a row at home versus the Los Angeles Lakers
and Bucks next week.
After becoming the last team in the NBA to reach double digits in wins, the
Bucks fell back into the loss column. They defeated Orlando on Tuesday for
their 10th win of the season, then dropped a 101-90 decision to Denver two
Caron Butler led six players in double figures with 17 points, while Ersan
Ilyasova added 14 to go along with 11 rebounds. Nate Wolters and John Henson
both scored 12 points, and Giannis Antetokounmpo and O.J. Mayo chipped in 11
points apiece for Milwaukee, which has lost five of six games.
"We just seemed like we never got into a rhythm," Bucks coach Larry Drew said.
"I thought every time we seemed to try to put together a little bit of a push,
we just never seemed to sustain a rhythm."
The Bucks, though, stayed competitive by scoring 26 points off 16 Denver
turnovers. They pulled within 78-73 at one point, but the Nuggets took over
and cruised to the victory.
Milwaukee is 1-3 on a five-game homestand and just 6-22 at the Bradley Center
this season. It will visit Philadelphia and Indiana in a few days.
Bucks guard Brandon Knight did not play versus the Nuggets because of a heel
issue and is questionable Saturday. Knight leads the Bucks with 16.7 points
and 5.0 assists.
The Bucks made a move at the trade deadline and acquired guard Ramon Sessions
and forward Jeff Adrien from the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for guards Gary
Neal and Luke Ridnour.
Milwaukee lost the first of four meetings with Indiana back on Nov. 15 in a
104-77 road setback. Roy Hibbert and George scored 24 and 22 points,
respectively, in that one for the Pacers, who have won three straight and
eight of the last 10 meetings between the teams.
Indiana has lost seven of 10 and eight of its last 12 at Milwaukee.
The Central foes will close out the season series April 9.
02/22 10:43:06 ET