Countdown to Tipoff: Pacers at Clippers
SCOUTING THE PACERS: The Pacers (16-21) are hoping to bounce back from a 99-86 home loss to Chicago on Friday. The Pacers were bidding for their first three-game win streak of the season after beating Philadelphia and Dallas on consecutive nights. The Pacers shot 32.6 percent - their second-worst performance of the season - against the Bulls and trailed 53-41 at halftime. Danny Granger scored 22 points, but missed 13 of his first 17 shots on his way to an 8-for-23 performance. Monday begins a four-game road trip against teams from the West for the Pacers, who ended a nine-game road losing streak at Philadelphia on Tuesday. Roy Hibbert, averaging 15 points against Western Conference teams compared to 11.3 against clubs from the East, will try to bounce back after he was held to a season low-tying two points on 1-of-8 shooting Friday. He had 18 points and eight rebounds against the Clippers in November. The Pacers are looking to sweep the season series against the Clippers for the first time since 2005-06.
SCOUTING THE CLIPPERS: The Clippers have defeated some of the NBA's top teams the last few weeks, including a victory over the two-time defending champions in their last game. Los Angeles (14-25) has the third-worst record in the Western Conference, but is 9-4 since Dec. 17, the fourth-best record for any team during that stretch and has won four in a row at home. The Clippers have several impressive wins in those 13 games, posting victories over division leaders Chicago, Miami and on Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers. They ended the Lakers' seven-game win streak with a 99-92 victory, overcoming a 12-point third-quarter deficit. Eric Gordon scored 30 points and Blake Griffin had 16 of his 18 points in the second half and grabbed 15 rebounds. The only thing to mar the victory was a late scuffle between the teams that led to Griffin and Baron Davis being ejected along with Lamar Odom and Ron Artest. Gordon and Griffin continue to lead the way for the improving Clippers. Gordon is averaging 27.4 points the last five games while shooting better than 60 percent the last two. Meanwhile, Griffin's ejection kept him from reaching 20 points for a 15th straight game, but he extended his double-double streak to 26 games. The last time he failed to record at least 10 points and 10 rebounds was against Indiana on Nov. 18. He had 12 points and eight rebounds in that 107-80 loss, the Clippers' 12th in 13 games to start the season.
INJURY REPORT: The Pacers are healthy. For the Clippers, Chris Kaman (aggravated bone bruise of left ankle) and Craig Smith (herniated disc) are out, while Brian Cook (sprained right ankle) is doubtful.
BROADCAST INFO: Please note, the game will not be televised locally. The radio broadcast will move to WIBC 1070 AM, featuring Mark Boyle and Bob "Slick" Leonard, with Kevin Lee handling the sideline and pre-game duties.
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