NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 17th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (26-40) at Indiana Pacers (29-35), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Indiana Pacers are fading fast from the playoff picture and will try to stop an 11-game losing streak tonight when they close out a short two-game homestand versus the Atlanta Hawks.
Indiana is one loss away from matching a franchise-record losing streak, set three times in club history and most recently during the 1988-89 season. The Pacers, who dropped 12 in a row from January 26 - February 23 of that season, are currently ninth in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The team is just percentage points behind Orlando and New Jersey in the race, having played two fewer games.
The losing ways continued for Indiana on Wednesday, as it suffered a 112-96 setback to the Washington Wizards at Conseco Fieldhouse. Jermaine O'Neal returned to the lineup after missing three contests due to a sprained left knee and scored 24 points.
Danny Granger scored 19 points and Troy Murphy added 17 for the Pacers, who are 18-14 at home this season. In injury news for Indiana, guard Jamaal Tinsley (foot/hamstring) and forward Jeff Foster (back) are both questionable for today's game.
Meanwhile, the Hawks will try to get back on the winning track after having their four-game winning streak halted with Wednesday's 109-88 loss to the Boston Celtics in the opener of a brief two-game road trip.
Josh Smith tallied 19 points and six boards for the Hawks, who lost for the sixth straight time on the road. Marvin Williams and Anthony Johnson each finished with 17 points and Williams also pulled down eight rebounds.
The Hawks, who are 12-22 as the visitor this season, are four games off the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
Saturday's game between Atlanta and Indiana is the third of four meetings this season. The Pacers have won both matchups so far and will pay a visit to Philips Arena on April 17.
Indiana has won nine of 13 and 11 of the last 17 meetings. Atlanta has lost 12 of its last 17 trips to Conseco Fieldhouse.
03/17 10:51:42 ET