NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 20th (All times eastern)
New Jersey Nets (30-36) at Indiana Pacers (33-31), 3:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Nets seek their fourth straight win today when they visit the shorthanded Indiana Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse in the opener of a home-and-home.
It was announced Friday that Indiana will be without All-Star forward Jermaine O'Neal for the remainder of the season due to a sprained right shoulder. He has been on the injured list since March 4.
The Pacers, though, have managed without O'Neal, winning two straight and five of their last seven games overall. On Friday, Reggie Miller poured in a season-high 39 points to lead the Pacers to a 103-97 home win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Stephen Jackson contributed 19 points and Anthony Johnson added 13 points and 11 assists for the Pacers, who have won seven of their last eight at home. Jeff Foster hauled in 17 rebounds while Dale Davis grabbed 16 boards in the win.
The Pacers currently sit seventh in the tightly packed Eastern Conference playoff race, but there isn't much room for error. While they are within three games of fourth place they are also just two games up on Philadelphia and Orlando, who are tied for eighth.
Indiana will visit the Nets on Tuesday.
New Jersey, meanwhile, has won seven of its last 11 games. On Friday, Vince Carter finished with 23 points and Jason Kidd collected 10 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, as the Nets pounded the free-falling Utah Jazz, 94-80, at the Meadowlands.
Travis Best netted 14 points and Brian Scalabrine added 12 to help the Nets pick up their third consecutive victory. Nenad Krstic posted 11 points and Zoran Planinic chipped in 10 in the win.
New Jersey is 10th in the East -- two games behind the Sixers and Magic.
The Nets will open a three-game homestand with Tuesday's matchup against the Pacers.
Indiana defeated New Jersey, 96-83, on December 30 at the Meadowlands, and has won three straight meetings overall.
The Nets have lost in three of their last four trips to Indianapolis.
03/20 10:15:29 ET