Countdown to Tipoff: Pacers vs. Nuggets
SCOUTING THE PACERS: Indiana (16-24) has dropped a season-high four straight and seven of nine since the new year. The Pacers led by as many as 16 points in the first half Saturday night, but fell 97-92 at Portland. They need a victory in this contest to avoid an 0-4 road trip, and have lost 12 of 13 away from home overall. Danny Granger continues to be a bright spot for Indiana. He scored 24 points in the loss to the Blazers and is averaging 29.3 while shooting 58.0 percent on the current road trip. Granger has averaged 34.0 points in his last two visits to Denver - both Pacers losses. Starting center Roy Hibbert returned for Indiana on Saturday after missing Wednesday night's game with an upper respiratory infection. He recorded 11 points and 10 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season.
SCOUTING THE NUGGETS: Looking to avenge their worst loss of 2010-11, the Nuggets will try for a third straight home victory over the Pacers tonight. Denver (24-18) struggled mightily in its 144-113 loss at Indiana on Nov. 9, especially in the second half. The Nuggets allowed 54 points in the third quarter - when the Pacers made 20 consecutive shots - and 85 points in the second half. The 54 points were the fourth-most for a quarter in NBA history, and the 85 in a half were the most allowed by Denver since Jan. 10, 1991, when the Nuggets yielded 94 in the second half of a 156-133 loss to Houston. Indiana's 144 points were its most since March 7, 1991, when the Pacers beat the Nuggets 145-125. Denver, which has yet to lose back-to-back games at home, dropped to 19-5 at the Pepsi Center with a 107-97 loss Friday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, who shot 53.4 percent from the floor - the highest mark by a Nuggets opponent at home. The Nuggets, who currently occupy the seventh spot in the Western Conference, embark on a five-game road trip following this contest. Carmelo Anthony finished with 13 points - more than 10 below his season average - in the November loss to the Pacers.
INJURY REPORT: The Pacers are healthy. For the Nuggets, Chris Andersen (knee) is out.
BROADCAST INFO: The game will be telecast at 8 p.m. on Fox Sports Indiana with Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner calling the game and Stacy Paetz on the sideline, with a pre-game show starting at 9:30. The radio broadcast is anchored by the flagship of the Pacers' network, WIBC 93 FM, featuring Mark Boyle and Bob "Slick" Leonard, with Kevin Lee reporting.