Pacers at Mavericks
6:30 p.m. Sunday, American Airlines Center, Dallas
TV: FSSW Radio: ESPN/103.3 FM, KFLC/1270 AM (Spanish)
Records: Pacers 46-16), Mavs 37-26
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About the Pacers: Some hard times have hit a Pacers team many predicted to win the NBA title. The Pacers have lost three straight after a rough week that saw them lose Tuesday at home to Golden State (98-96), Wednesday at Charlotte (108-87) and Friday at Houston (112-86). … Paul George and Roy Hibbert both represented the Pacers in last month’s All-Star game. But in the loss to the Rockets, the Pacers were a minus-30 with George on the floor and a minus-28 with Hibbert on the court. … George is averaging 22.2 ppg and 6.5 rpg, and Hibbert averages 11.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg and is third in the league in blocks at 2.45 bpg. … David West helps anchor the Pacers’ frontline and averages 14.1 ppg and 6.7 rpg, and Lance Stephenson is averaging 14 ppg and 7.3 rpg. … The Pacers have the NBA’s most potent defense and are allowing only 92 ppg, and are fifth in rebounding at 45.2 rpg. Indiana, though, is challenged offensively with averages of 98.7 ppg.
About the Mavericks: After barely surviving Friday night’s game against Portland — winning 103-98 — the Mavs were very angry. But that’s a good sign. How many times does a team win a game and still walk away angry? If the Mavericks keep that up they’ll run the table and win the remaining 19 games. … Dallas built two 30-point leads against Portland, and then suddenly found themselves down seven points after the Blazers went on a 71-34 run. … The Mavs were also angry when they played the Pacers on Feb. 12 in Indianapolis. That’s because on the previous night in Charlotte, the Mavericks suffered their worst loss of the season, 114-89, to the Bobcats. The Mavs recovered and defeated the Pacers 81-73, handing Indiana just its third home loss of the season. At the time, the Pacers had the NBA’s best record and best home record. … After Sunday, the Mavs play three road games starting Tuesday at Golden State and continuing to Utah and Oklahoma City.
— Dwain Price