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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

Other Stories

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Tomorrow at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Friday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
BRK 91
CHA 115
 
2nd
DUKE 94
WAKE 51
 
Final
LOS 4
CWS 6
 
Final
CLE 4
CIN 2
 
Final
TEX 2
KAN 13
 
Final
SFG 2
OAK 9
 
Final
SEA 4
SDP 3
 
Final
MIL 8
WMIL 0
 
Final
COL 3
ARI 6
 
Final
MIN 3
UMIN 1
 
Final
IND 105
NYK 82
 
Final
ORL 100
PHO 105
 
Final
BRK 91
CHA 115
 
Final
TOR 112
CLE 120
 
Final
BOS 85
UTA 84
 
4th
MIN 71
DEN 85
 
3rd
NOP 73
DET 71
 
4th
MIA 76
LAL 73
 
4th
HOU 86
MEM 96
 
4th
OKC 86
PHI 90
 
3rd
SAN 61
SAC 44
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
Final
UNCA 80
LIB 70
 
Final
PSU 67
OSU 77
 
Final
USB 62
BING 57
 
Final
FORD 66
DUQ 81
 
Final
GMAS 51
GWU 67
 
Final
UNH 54
HART 52
 
Final
STJOE 55
LAS 50
 
Final
Terriers 79
LIU 70
 
Final
GTDNS 83
MAINE 66
 
Final
LOU 59
ND 71
 
Final
SHU 66
PROV 79
 
Final
BRY 91
SHU 85
 
Final
MORE 79
SEMIZ 74
 
Final
MNTER 58
RFLSH 73
 
Final
LSU 63
TENN 78
 
Final
SFLA 74
UCF 45
 
Final
VERM 66
UMBC 39
 
Final
RMU 91
WAGN 68
 
Final
UMASS 53
RICH 56
 
2nd
TULA 59
HOU 59
 
Final
YALE 71
HOW 62
 
2nd
PITT 63
MIAMI 66
 
Final
TXPA 48
NMST 69
 
2nd
MSU 56
PURD 44
 
Final
STLU 48
BONA 64
 
2nd
DUKE 94
WAKE 51
 
Half
TULSA 20
CIN 27
 
Half
VANDY 32
MSST 36
 
Half
OKST 34
TCU 30
 
Half
UCLA 46
USC 35
 
Half
WYO 40
UTST 30
 
1st
MARQ 21
STJ 24
 
1st
EILL 21
SIUE 19
 
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
AFA
10:00pm Tonight
SJST
BSU
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
COLST
10:00pm Tonight
ILL
NEB
11:00pm Tonight
ORST
OREG
11:00pm Tonight
UNLV
SDST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
UCSB
 
3rd
WIN 1
OTT 3
 
3rd
DET 1
NYR 1
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
MON
10:00pm Tonight
COL
PIT