Friday, December 28th at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Game Preview: IND vs PHX

by Scott Agness | December 22, 2012 | Updated: December 27, 2012 5:55 PM

Matchup

The Pacers hope to change their luck against the Phoenix Suns when they come to town Friday. They haven’t beaten the Suns in over two years and have lost the last four games in the series.

Phoenix has mostly been down this year, at one point losing seven in a row, including defeats in Detroit and Toronto. On the road for their next three games, the Suns are now working on a losing streak of three games in a row. Their season trend is to get behind by double digits, only to later to come back to win in about half of those ball games.

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In the offseason, they drafted Kendall Marshall 13th overall but he’s been a disappointment, even struggling in the D-League. They also signed Luis Scola, who was amnestied by Houston, along with Goran Dragic, Michael Beasley, Shannon Brown, Jermaine O’Neal, P.J. Tucker. Three of those recent signees are now starters. The Suns also encountered an unfortunate scenario, with Channing Frye sidelined indefinitely for an enlarged heart.

Montieth & Denari: Augustin's Promotion and NBA Happenings 121227

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In their final podcast before 2012 becomes 2013, Pacers TV play-by-play announcer Chris Denari and Pacers.com's Mark Montieth talk all things Blue and Gold and discuss the latest NBA coaching change.

Six Suns are averaging double figure points per game, led by Dragic with 14 points and six assists. Marcin Gortat – the only Suns player to start every game this year – is shooting 53 percent from the field, averaging 11 points and nine rebounds per contest and is 10th in the league in blocks. Jared Dudley is coming off a career-high 36 points in a two-point loss to the Knicks on Wednesday. Phoenix scores more than 98 points per game and is eighth in the NBA in blocks.

The Suns have dropped their last three ball games whereas the Pacers have won three straight. After playing four games in five nights to end last week and having Wednesday’s game postponed (because of weather conditions), Indiana returns to court for their first game in six days – a rarity in the NBA.

Probable Starters

George Hill

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Lance Stephenson

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Paul George

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David West

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Roy Hibbert

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Sebastian Telfair

Shannon Brown

Jared Dudley

Luis Scola

Marcin Gortat

Injury Update

Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee), Gerald Green (day to day, sprained left ankle)
Suns: Channing Frye (out, enlarged heart), Goran Dragic (out, left hip bruise)

Quotable

"I see a team that’s better than their record. They've played more games than anybody in the league decided by three points or less. (Wednesday’s game) was another example of that, losing at the buzzer. They've got some really quality pieces: (Goran) Dragic, (Marcin) Gortat and Luis Scola; (Jared) Dudley goes for 36 points last night. They've got weapons and are very capable so we have to play our 'A' game." – Frank Vogel on Phoenix

"I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not... When you’re playing well and won six of the seven, you kind of want to keep playing. Things like that are out of our control so we just make the best of it, keep guys sharp and condition." – Frank Vogel on whether an extended time between games is good or bad

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have lost the last four meetings.
  • The Suns lost their first six games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse but have since went 6-1.
  • The Suns are two wins shy of their 2,000th victory in franchise history.
  • Indiana has held their opponents under 90 points in six of their previous seven games.
  • George Hill has scored in double figures in each of the last 10 games.
  • Jermaine O’Neal played for the Pacers from 2000-08.
  • Luke Zeller from Washington, Indiana is playing in his first NBA season.

Last Meeting

Phoenix beat Indiana in their lone game last season 113-111 in Indianapolis. The Pacers led at halftime but the Suns closed the third quarter on an 18-7 run for a seven-point lead which the Pacers would never overcome.

Steve Nash starred in the game, finishing with 12 points (all in the second half) and 17 assists. Marcin Gortat had 23 points and George Hill scored 22.

Danny Granger led the Pacers with a game-high 28 points and Roy Hibbert registered 19 points. The Pacers shot 52 percent from the field and went 20-for-22 at the free throw line.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)

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