Thursday, March 28th, 2013 at 8:00 PM EDT at American Airlines Arena

Game Preview: IND at DAL

Scott Agness | March 27, 2013 | Updated: March 28, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Matchup

After taking on the Houston Rockets, the Pacers head northwest about 250 miles to Dallas, for their only appearance at the American Airlines Center this season. The Mavericks are in the midst of home-heavy schedule to close out March, which includes six straight and eight of nine in their own arena over the final two weeks. So far this month they are 10-4 and just one game out of eighth-place in the West, behind the Lakers.

The Mavericks are playing well lately, particularly in the last week. They’ve won their last three games, all against playoff teams. Most recently, they picked up a seven-point win over the Los Angeles Clippers in overtime on Tuesday.

Related: What They're Saying: Mar. 28 »

In the Pacers last meeting with Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki was recovering from right knee surgery and did not play. Over the last nine outings, the 11-time NBA All-Star is averaging 20.7 points and 8.2 rebounds and shooting 54.8 percent from the field. He’s versatile and can beat you from the inside and out. O.J. Mayo, a guy the Pacers targeted in the offseason, is averaging 16.4 points and 4.4 assists per game.

Statistically, the Mavs have the most efficient and highest-scoring bench in the NBA, worth 41.5 points per game. Vince Carter, Elton Brand, rookie Jae Crowder and former Pacers player Darren Collison are all capable scorers off the bench.

Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle directed the Pacers from 2003-07. In his first year, the team won a franchise record 61 games (to lead the league) and won the Central Division, the last time they’ve done so. Already in the playoffs, winning the division crown is next on the Pacers’ to-do list.

Related: Pacers-Thunder Bounced from ESPN »

The three big areas of focus for the team during this four-game trip are: 1) Getting healthy; 2) Winning on the road; and, 3) Improving their chances of securing the second seed in the East by taking care of the first two. George Hill and Lance Stephenson returned against Houston and Vogel said Danny Granger and David West will likely return against Dallas. However, it was announced earlier today that Granger would miss the rest of the season.

Before these two teams last met back on Nov. 16, Frank Vogel and his coaching staff made a memorable change at morning shootaround. Following a 3-6 start to the season as the team tried to adapt to Danny Granger (knee) being out, the coaching staff decided to implement change on the offensive end. The changes called for more flow, as a result of less play-calling and more pushing the tempo and getting into movement.

Probable Starters

George Hill

George Hill

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

Paul George

Paul George

Tyler Hansbrough

Tyler Hansbrough

Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Mike James

Mike James

O.J. Mayo

O.J. Mayo

Shawn Marion

Shawn Marion

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki

Brandan Wright

Brandan Wright

Injury Update

Pacers: George Hill (day-to-day, left groin strain), Lance Stephenson (day-to-day, right hip-flexor strain), David West (day-to-day, lower back sprain), Danny Granger (out, left knee)
Mavericks: Rodrigue Beaubois (out, left second metacarpal fracture)

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won two straight and three of the last four meetings.
  • Ian Mahinmi was acquired on July 12th in a trade with Dallas for Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones (who has since been traded to Atlanta).
  • Gerald Green appeared in 38 games (12 starts) for the Mavericks in 2008-09.
  • Carlisle’s top assistant, Jim O’Brien, was the Pacers’ head coach from 2007-11 and has been a great mentor for Vogel.

Last Meeting

A change in offense helped the Pacers end a two-game skid early into the season. Down one at the half, the Pacers went on a 28-12 run in the third quarter and held on for a key mental win, 103-83, their largest margin of victory over Dallas in 15 years. The strong offensive performance, along with their steady D’, helped get the Pacers on track for the season. Beginning with the Mavs, the Pacers won seven of ten games.

George Hill and David West each scored 15 points, while Roy Hibbert added 14 to go with eight rebounds. Three other Pacers ended the game in double figures and they only turned the ball over nine times as a team. O.J. Mayo led all scorers with 19 points and Chris Kaman finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5 The Fan (no simulcast on 1070 The Fan), Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (analyst) Michael Grady (host)

Next Home Game

Tickets are still available for the Pacers' next home game, Friday, April 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8:00 PM. Find Tickets »

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