Brooklyn Nets (20-24) at Indiana Pacers (35-10)
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Tip: 7:00 p.m. EST
TV: Check local listings
Line: IND -11.0
It took the Indiana Pacers 45 games to reach double-digits in the loss column, but tonight the Indiana Pacers will look to improve in the win column as they host the Brooklyn Nets for the final time this season, barring a playoff matchup.
Brooklyn has improved vastly since the last time these two teams met, and Indiana hold the advantage thus far in the season series at 3-0. The Pacers won twice at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and handled the Nets in their only meeting in Indianapolis.
The Brooklyn team of 2014 is dangerous; they are 7-3 in their last 10 games and are climbing the Eastern Conference ranks.
On Friday night, the Nets were absolutely dominated by the red-hot Oklahoma City Thunder. Brooklyn was out-rebounded 41-17 and lost 95-120. Yes, you read that right – 17 total rebounds. That said, they will be out to avenge that loss and their 0-3 mark versus the Indiana Pacers on the season.
Guard Deron Williams came off the bench Friday, and may do so again tonight. Williams is coming off injury problems with his ankles, but is always a threat. Despite Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett getting older by the day, the two are capable of disrupting game plans and hitting their shots.
Meanwhile, the Pacers play their second straight home game after returning from a five-game Western Conference road trip in which they posted a 3-2 mark. Upon returning to Indy, the Pacers were defeated for the second time in a week by the Phoenix Suns. There is something about Phoenix that Indiana cannot figure out. Thus, both teams are searching for a momentum-changing victory tonight in downtown Indianapolis.
Matchup to watch tonight will be Lance Stephenson against Joe Johnson. Stephenson was, as many people believe, snubbed of an All-Star spot by the coaches’ vote. Johnson is one of the East reserves who got the nod over Stephenson, and Lance commented that he is out to prove his doubters wrong, starting tonight.
I’ll let the game do the talking. Indiana Pacers win 98-86.