Game Preview: Pacers at Spurs
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 8:30 PM ET at the AT&T Center
Following their completion of a season sweep over the Houston Rockets, the Pacers face yet another daunting task as they head to San Antonio for a meeting with the 45-13 Spurs.
In their lasting meeting with San Antonio, the Pacers (31-29) hung tough for the entire game, but were eventually outdone in the final minutes of the game by a series of well-executed plays that have come to define the Spurs during the Gregg Popovich era.
But in Monday's road game with the Rockets, the late-game execution went the way of the Pacers, as a well drawn-up inbounds play saw Paul George quickly dish a pass to a wide-open C.J. Miles in the corner who buried a 3-pointer to give Indiana the cushion it needed to secure the road win.
The early-game execution, however, was a different story, as the Pacers fell flat in the game's beginning with Houston racing out to an 18-2 advantage. Luckily for the Blue & Gold, the bench unit erased the early stumble, helping Indiana charge back into the game and take a one-point lead into the halftime locker room.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Pacers' Playoff Push »
The reserve lineup featuring Rakeem Christmas — who has continued to impress in his first major minutes as a member of the Pacers — has played at a fast pace as Monta Ellis and Rodney Stuckey keep the pressure on opposing defenses.
Christmas finished Monday's game 4-of-5 from the field and three rebounds, and Stuckey racked up 17 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Although the Pacers finished with 117 points on Monday, such a total won't come as easy against the Spurs, who sport the NBA's best defense according to NBA.com/Stats. Since January 21st, the most any opponent has scored against the Spurs is 106.
But with the season winding down and wins at a premium, the Pacers will enter Wednesday's game in desperation mode. A mentality they'll need to win on the road in San Antonio, something the Pacers have accomplished on just one occasion since the 2002-03 season.
Pacers: PG - Jeff Teague, SG - Paul George, SF - C.J. Miles, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Spurs: PG - Tony Parker, SG - Danny Green, SF - Kawhi Leonard, PF - LaMarcus Aldridge, C - Dewayne Dedmon
February 13, 2017: Despite hanging tough for much of the evening, the Pacers fell to the Spurs 110-106 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Indiana led by as many as four points in the fourth quarter, but Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs gave San Antonio a lead with a jump shot to make it 98-97 with 3:38 left. The Spurs led the rest of the way.
Paul George led six Pacers players in double figures with 27 points on 8-of-15 shooting and collecting six rebounds. Turner added 22 points and six boards in the loss.
Leonard led all scorers with 32 points on 13-of-23 shooting to go along with six rebounds, three assists, and four steals.
"They made big plays down the stretch," George said. "It goes down to their screening. I thought when they needed to get great shots, they screened and got guys open for good looks."
- The Spurs lead the all-time series 52-36.
- Indiana has lost 13 of its last 14 regular season road games at San Antonio, dating back to the 2002-03 season.
- Pacers guard Joe Young and Spurs guard Jonathon Simmons were teammates at the University of Houston during the 2011-12 NCAA season.
- Spurs forward Pau Gasol and Pacers guard Aaron Brooks were teammates on the Bulls for two seasons (2014-15, 2015-16).
Following their five-game road trip, the Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday, March 8 for a meeting with a Central Division foe, the Detroit Pistons, at 8:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)
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