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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 7th (All times Eastern)

Indiana Pacers (17-2) at San Antonio Spurs (15-3), 8:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Two of the league's very best will battle in the biggest matchup thus far of the regular season Saturday night when the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs night meet at the AT&T Center.

The Pacers own the NBA's best record and San Antonio isn't far behind with the third-best mark in the league.

Saturday's battle should be a defensive one as the Pacers are first in the league in opponents' scoring and San Antonio is third.

"We have to play very, very well," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "This is a solid, very aggressive, well-rounded team; really well-coached, really disciplined and very committed to where they want to be at the end of the game."

The Pacers are in the midst of a brutal road trip where they are 2-1. They beat the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, then fell in another marquee matchup to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Indiana got back into the win column with a 95-86 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. They still have to visit the Oklahoma City Thunder, then return home to face the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.

"It's a great opportunity for our team to grow and compete against some of the better teams in the NBA," said Pacers forward David West.

Against the Jazz, Paul George was his amazing self with 19 points. He led six Pacers in double figures including, West, Roy Hibbert, Lance Stephenson, George Hill and Luis Scola.

The Pacers shot 47.6 percent from the field, but struggled badly from beyond the arc. Indiana went 3-for-16 for 18.8 percent. They did hold the Jazz to 41 percent.

If Indiana is to vault into the true elite of the league, beating San Antonio would be a good place to start. It won't be easy. The Spurs have won 10 straight against the Pacers and 11 in a row at home.

The Spurs have been idle since Monday night when they gutted out a 102-100 home win over the Atlanta Hawks.

San Antonio was supposed to play the Minnesota Timberwolves in Mexico City on Wednesday, but the game was postponed when a generator malfunction outside the arena caused the building to fill with smoke. That game will be rescheduled in Minnesota at a later date.

The Spurs had lost two of three until the win over the Hawks. Tim Duncan hit a go-ahead jumper with 0.4 seconds left to polish off a night of 23 points and 21 rebounds.

"He did a great job. We were having a tough night in a lot of ways and he was superb," Popovich said of his future Hall of Famer.

Duncan led San Antonio, but it was a great group effort on Monday. Boris Diaw had 16 off the bench and Tony Parker added 15. Marco Belinelli, Tiago Splitter and Manu Ginobili also scored in double figures for the Spurs.

Splitter wouldn't have played in Mexico with tightness in his left calf. He practiced on Friday, but without contact and his coach didn't sound optimistic he'd be out there to battle the mammoth frontline of the Pacers.

"I don't think it looks good," Pop said.

After this tough matchup, the Spurs play six of their next seven on the road, including a four-game jaunt west.

The Pacers last won in San Antonio on Jan. 4, 2002.

12/07 10:45:17 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
5:05pm Saturday
DUR 0
GWI 0
 
1:05pm Today
DUR
GWI
 
4:05pm Today
DUR
GWI
 
Final
DET 4
CLE 1
1:10pm Saturday
CIN 0
CHC 0
2:10pm Saturday
CWS 0
KAN 0
 
Final
OAK 3
HOU 9
Final
NYY 2
NYM 8
Final
MIA 8
WAS 0
Final
TAM 4
TOR 2
Final
PHI 2
ATL 5
Final
BAL 5
BOS 4
Final
MIL 3
STL 5
Final
ARI 1
PIT 2
Final
COL 4
SFG 5
Final
SDP 8
LOS 11
Final
ANA 4
TEX 1
Final
SEA 5
MIN 8
1:08pm Today
DET
CLE
 
1:10pm Today
CIN
CHC
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
TOR
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
1:35pm Today
PHI
ATL
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
BOS
 
2:10pm Today
MIL
STL
 
3:10pm Today
CWS
KAN
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
TEX
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
MIN
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
PIT
 
4:10pm Today
COL
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
NYY
NYM
 
Final
BRK 91
ATL 83
Final
MIL 92
CHI 90
Final
NOP 98
GSW 109
Final
POR 109
MEM 115
1:00pm Today
BOS
CLE
 
3:30pm Today
SAN
LAC
 
6:30pm Tonight
WAS
TOR
 
9:00pm Tonight
DAL
HOU
 
Final
NYI 3
WAS 1
Final
TAM 0
DET 4
Final
CHI 4
NAS 3
Final
CAL 7
VAN 4
3:00pm Today
MIN
STL
 
6:00pm Tonight
OTT
MON
 
5:05pm Saturday
DUR 0
GWI 0
 
1:05pm Today
DUR
GWI
 
4:05pm Today
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