National Basketball Association
Indiana at L.A. Lakers
When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, January 20, 2017
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Indiana Pacers are playing their best basketball of the season and aim for their eighth victory in the past nine games when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. Indiana recovered from a 22-point first-half deficit to record a 106-100 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday in the opener of a three-game road trip.
Star forward Paul George scored 24 points and point guard Jeff Teague contributed 22 points and 11 assists as the Pacers outscored Sacramento by 25 points in the second half. "We came out flat again on the road, we had a bad approach in the first half," George said afterward. "But we hung in there and played as a group after that and kept chipping away at the lead. We don't like being in that position. We need to start games on the road with more focus." The Lakers are sliding in the wrong direction with five consecutive losses and coach Luke Walton insists he won't make changes to the starting five. "I think the starting lineup's actually been doing a pretty good job," Walton told reporters. "Most games, we've gotten off to pretty good starts now. That was a problem early on, but I think they've figured that out. Now a lot of the problem is to start the third quarter so I guess if we're making baby steps and progression, we'll get to the third quarter next."TV:
10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Indiana, Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles)ABOUT THE PACERS (22-19):
Indiana is averaging 113.6 points during its eight-game run and the lone loss during the stretch occurred when it allowed 140 points to the Denver Nuggets in London. Teague delivered back-to-back double-doubles and is enjoying a strong month by averaging 17.3 points and 10 assists while shooting 65.6 percent from the field. Center Myles Turner scored 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting against the Kings after he was 11-of-30 over the previous two games.
ABOUT THE LAKERS (15-31):
Backup guards Lou Williams (team-best 17.8) and Jordan Clarkson (14 per game) rank as two of the team's top three scorers, and the prevailing thought is that elevating one to the starting lineup might make the team better. Williams typically plays most of the fourth quarter as the go-to scorer down the stretch but averages just 24.3 minutes per contest. Starting shooting guard Nick Young scored 22 points during Tuesday's 127-121 loss to the Denver Nuggets after averaging just seven points on 13-of-47 shooting over the previous six contests.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Pacers won eight of the past 10 meetings, including a 115-108 victory on Nov. 1.
2. Indiana reserve C Al Jefferson scored a season-high 20 points in 17 minutes against the Kings.
3. Los Angeles SF Luol Deng (wrist) could miss his second straight game.PREDICTION:
Pacers 121, Lakers 115
Stats and Records