Monday, January 28th at 9:00 PM EST at Pepsi Center

Game Preview: IND at DEN

by Scott Agness | January 26, 2013 | Updated January 27, 2013 at 2:18 AM

Matchup

Remember the Pacers’ last loss at home? Think way back, all the way to Dec. 7th. That 92-89 loss came to the Denver Nuggets.

Indiana closes out a nine-day trip spanning four Western Conference cities (and three Northwest Division opponents) with the Nuggets on Monday night at the Pepsi Center, a place where the Pacers haven't won since 2007. In fact, they’ve won just one of their last seven tries in the Mile High city. They’ll be trying to end a two-game losing streak.

Denver, the third-youngest team in the NBA, had arguably the most difficult schedule to begin the season, playing 17 of their first 24 games on the road. They made it out alright, winning half their games. Recently, they've won three in a row and nine of 11. Saturday night, they drilled the Sacramento Kings by 28 and scorer at least 30 points in each of the first three quarters. The Nuggets' meeting with the Pacers is the second game of six-straight home games—a stretch where they'd like to get some wins to bump into the top-five of the Western Conference standings.

The Nuggets are a well-balanced team with six players averaging in double-figures each night, led by Danilo Gallinari’s 16-plus points per game. Kenneth Faried is a load in the middle, shooting more than 54 percent from the field while averaging 12 points and almost 10 rebounds in each contest.

They are the second-best rebounding team in the league, trailing only the Pacers. Their quick tempo offense puts them near the top in assists and turnovers per game, and they are great in transition, scoring about 20 fastbreak points over the last 30 games. Last meeting, the Pacers’ defense held the Nuggets, who average more than 103 points per game, to just 92.

The Pacers’ league-leading defense hasn’t been so impressive in the past two games, both losses. Portland and Utah each shot high percentages in the mid-50s, notched half their points in the paint, and scored in triple-digits. They’ve also allowed opposing big men to have their way. Those are just a few areas of concern.

A win would prevent their second three-game losing streak this season and mean they went a reasonable 2-2 on this four-game trip. It would also end the Pacers’ recent struggles against the Nuggets and push their road record closer to .500, as they’re home for 11 of their next 12 games.

Probable Starters

George Hill

George Hill

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

Paul George

Paul George

David West

David West

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Ty Lawson

Andre Iguodala

Danilo Gallinari

Kenneth Faried

Kosta Koufos

Injury Update

Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee)
Nuggets: None

Noteworthy

  • The Nuggets have won the last three meetings and five of the last six.
  • The Nuggets are 16-3 at home.
  • When they distribute the ball well and finish with 30 or more assists in a game, the Nuggets are 5-0.
  • Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson were teammates at North Carolina and won the NCAA Championship in 2009.

Last Meeting

The Pacers jumped out to a 12-2 lead but it was a 10- run in the fourth quarter by the Nuggets that helped them go in front for good en route to a 92-89 win. Andre Miller came up clutch late, scoring eight of those ten points. Paul George knocked down a three-pointer in the corner and on their next possession, late Lance Stephenson would connect on one of two free throws, cutting the lead to three. On the final play, George Hill put up a three-while looking for contact with the defender, Ty Lawson, caught in the air. The shot was off the mark.

Paul George scored 22 points, and David West recorded his seventh double-double this year: 18 points and 11 rebounds. George Hill finished with 15 points and a season-high 10 assists in the loss. The Pacers assisted on 27 of their 34 field goals. Corey Brewer and JaVale McGee each scored 20 points off the bench for Denver.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 1070 The Fan – Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (host)

Next Home Game

The Pacers return home on Wednesday, January 30 to take on the Detroit Pistons. Good seats are still available. Find Tickets »

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