NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 23rd (All times eastern)
Philadelphia 76ers (14-28) at Indiana Pacers (15-28), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference square off in the opener of a home-and-home series at Conseco Fieldhouse tonight when the Indiana Pacers play host to the Philadelphia 76ers.
A pair of changes in the starting lineup fueled the Sixers to a win in Philadelphia against the Southwest division-leading Dallas Mavericks on Friday. Rookie point guard Jrue Holiday replaced Lou Williams while veteran power forward Elton Brand took Thaddeus Young's place as Philadelphia topped the Mavs 92-81.
Young, removed from the starting lineup for the first time this season, responded with a game-high 22 points. Marreese Speights added 14 points off the bench for Philadelphia, which had lost three of four games.
Williams donated 11 points, six rebounds and five assists. Allen Iverson, who was selected as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team on Thursday, also had 11 points and Brand, starting after 17 consecutive games coming off the bench, scored 10.
"It gave me more energy knowing I have to earn my minutes," said Young, who shot 9-of-12 from the floor following his demotion. "I hit my spots, and that makes you play a lot better. I like being a sixth man off the bench, whatever I can do for my team, I'll do."
The Pacers, meanwhile, snapped a three-game skid last night against their Central Division rival, the Detroit Pistons.
Danny Granger scored a team-high 25 points and Brandon Rush made 5-of-8 from three-point range and finished with 19 points in that one, as Indiana claimed a 105-93 win over the Pistons.
Troy Murphy went for 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Mike Dunleavy and Roy Hibbert each contributed 14 points apiece for the Pacers, who were able to rebound from a 109-98 setback at Orlando on Wednesday.
"We played a consistent game for four quarters," Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien said. "We're 6-6 in 2010 and looking for some consistency."
This is the first meeting between the two clubs this season but the Pacers have taken five of their past seven meetings with the Sixers.
These two teams will meet again on Monday in Philadelphia.
01/23 10:41:36 ET