NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 15th (All times eastern)
Indiana Pacers (13-25) at New Jersey Nets (3-35), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Indiana Pacers will be out to halt a string of nine straight road losses in tonight's clash with a hapless New Jersey Nets team trying to break out of a six-game losing streak.
Indiana hasn't won in an opposing venue since a 114-113 decision at Washington on December 12, but will be entering the IZOD Center tonight off back-to-back home victories over Toronto and Phoenix. On Wednesday, Danny Granger poured in a game-high 33 points and Mike Dunleavy added 30 off the bench to lead the Pacers to a 122-114 come-from-behind triumph over the Suns.
The Pacers trailed by as many as 24 points in the first half but came storming back in the third quarter. Dunleavy scored 13 points during an 18-9 run to start the second half, and Granger later made consecutive three-pointers in the final minute of the period to give Indiana a 91-89 edge.
The game was tied at 110-110 with under four minutes to play, but the Pacers scored 12 of the next 16 points to move ahead for good.
"The second half turned things around for us," Granger said. "We just didn't have it or didn't figure it out in the first half. In the second half, we went small, got after the ball a little more, spread the floor a little more and it really helped by having veterans out there together."
Indiana will try to keep up its recent winning ways when it takes on a Nets squad that a league-worst 3-35 on the season and has lost twice to the Pacers earlier this season, including a 91-83 setback at the IZOD Center on November 17. Indiana has won five of the last six meetings in this series.
New Jersey hasn't won since a 104-95 verdict over the New York Knicks on December 30 and was handed its 16th loss in its last 17 outings with Wednesday's 111-87 shellacking at the hands of Atlantic Division leader Boston.
The Celtics quickly opened up an 18-point lead late in the first quarter and took a commanding 71-35 advantage at halftime en route to the easy win. Boston shot a sizzling 53.1 percent from the field for the game.
"We didn't take a stand on the defensive end," said Nets guard Devin Harris. "To give up 70 points in a half, it's tough to win any game."
Yi Jianlian led New Jersey with 19 points, while Brook Lopez finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds in a losing cause. Harris, who had missed the Nets' previous contest with a wrist problem, scored 15 points on the night.
New Jersey, which is just 2-16 at home for the season, will embark on a four- game road trip that begins Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers following tonight's matchup.
01/15 10:35:48 ET