NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 30th (All times Eastern)
Phoenix Suns (27-18) at Indiana Pacers (35-9), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers had some time to rest after their western road trip and are back in the cozy confines of Bankers Life Fieldhouse Thursday for a rematch with the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix crushed Indiana, 124-100, last Wednesday in the desert behind Gerald Green's 23 points and has won five of seven and 12 of the last 16 meetings in this series. The Suns are 6-2 in their last eight trips to Indy.
The Pacers went 3-2 on their sojourn and will also host Brooklyn and Orlando on the upcoming homestand. They have won 10 in a row as the host and are coming off Tuesday's 104-92 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers behind David West's 19 points and eight rebounds. West averaged 17.4 points on the trip.
Lance Stephenson posted 15 points, 14 rebounds and four assists, while Paul George (14), George Hill (13), Roy Hibbert (11) and Danny Granger (10) rounded out the double-digit scorers. Hibbert grabbed 10 boards for the Pacers, who held the Lakers to 39.4 percent shooting and 5-of-24 from 3-point range.
"Our bench was huge," said George. "A lot of guys stepped up. We came out strong in the second half and our bench made some huge shots."
George has totaled 32 points over his last two games after averaging 29.5 ppg in his previous six. It hasn't mattered because the Pacers still own the best record in the NBA (35-9) and have won 15 of the last 19 contests.
Stephenson has recorded double-doubles in three straight and five of his last six games, posting an average of 17.3 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists.
Indiana has an NBA-best 21-1 home record and is 6-0 as the host against Western Conference opponents. The Pacers have outscored opponents by 15.8 points per game at home.
The Pacers have the best defensive team in the league, allowing 90.2 points per game, and opponents are shooting just 41.2 percent from the field and 32.9 percent from 3-point range against them. They are 21-0 this season when allowing less than 90 points.
Phoenix has won three in a row and five of its last six games, and recorded a 126-117 triumph over the lowly Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday. Goran Dragic scored a game-high 30 points and is averaging 22.0 ppg in his last nine.
Green scored 23 points, Marcus Morris added 16 and Channing Frye posted 13 for the Suns, who are 3-0 on a four-game road trip and 12-11 away from US Airways Center this season. The Suns made 53.8 percent of their shots and buried 12- of-23 3-pointers. Green and Dragic both made four 3-pointers.
"I kind of felt like we needed some energy, we needed a spark somewhere. I just tried to be a little aggressive and shots were falling," said Green, who scored a season-high 30 points in a win at Philadelphia on Monday.
The Suns are scheduled to play two straight and four of five games at home after closing out the road trip at the Pacers.
01/30 10:46:17 ET