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Pacers Win Again While the Bulls Start Road Trip Against the Spurs

On Tuesday, the Indiana Pacers (35-9) continued their dominance as the top team in the league with another win. This time it came over the Los Angeles Lakers (16-30), 104-92.

David West

David West

The game ended a five-game West coast road trip (losing two of five) for the Pacers and it appeared to show in a sluggish performance against a sagging team who has lost five straight games. For the Pacers, David West led in scoring with 19 points while Lance Stephenson added 15 points with 14 rebounds. George Hill also contributed 13 points with seven rebounds.

The Pacers did outrebound the Lakers, 63-50, while committing four turnovers. They had some cold spells on offense but made 15 of 27 free throws. The team has relied on its defense this season and by scoring its 102.8 points per possession for the season, it has a No. 18 ranking for the league.

On Tuesday, Paul George went 4-of-21 and Danny Granger had 3-of-10 shooting. In the first half, the Pacers went 2-of-11 for 3-pointers.

Is this a cause for concern as the season continues?

Pacers coach Frank Vogel responded to the question prior to Tuesday’s game via NBC Sports, “Yea, a little bit, we want to be in the Top 10. With where our defense is, we feel if we are in the top 10 we are where we want to be. It’s probably not as high as we want to be.”

As for the Lakers, Pau Gasol (13 rebounds) and Jodie Meeks both scored 21 points; Nick Young added 12 points (5-of-16). The Lakers have now lost four consecutive times at home to the Pacers since 2010 and they have also lost their last 17 of 20 games.

Help doesn’t appear to be on the way any time soon as the Lakers announced on Tuesday that Kobe Bryant had been examined and is still dealing with pain and swelling in his knee. He’ll be re-examined in about three weeks, which means he’ll be out for the Feb. 16 All-Star Game.

For the Pacers, they’ll return home and get one day of rest before they host the Phoenix Suns (26-18) on Thursday. Indiana sits at 11/4 to win the 2014 NBA Championships while the Lakers are 200/1.

Chicago Bulls vs. San Antonio Spurs

The Chicago Bulls (22-22) will travel to play the San Antonio Spurs (33-12) on Wednesday. The Spurs will look to end an atypical two-game losing streak and the Bulls hope to welcome back Joakim Noah who missed Monday’s game due to illness.

Wednesday’s game will kick off a six-game road trip for the Bulls. They lost on Monday to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 95-86, after winning four of their last five games.

Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah

In the loss, Carlos Boozer contributed 20 points with 14 rebounds as Taj Gibson added 10 points and 10 rebounds as he pinch hit for Noah. The team gave up 46 points in the paint from Noah’s absence.

Coach Tom Thibodeau said of his team’s recent play via ESPN, “We can get it done. We can never lose sight of how hard we have to play. We can’t play hard for 32 minutes. We have to play hard the whole game.”

The Spurs are also looking to rebound after their 97-90 loss against the Houston Rockets (30-17). This snapped the team’s 15-game streak of 100 points or more.

Boris Diaw led is scoring with 22 points, a season high, and 11 rebounds. Tony Parker added 17 points with Tim Duncan contributing 12 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. This represented double-double No. 4 over five games.

Chicago plays well on the road, winning its last six of seven but its offense can be a problem as it only scores 92.8 points per game–the second lowest in the NBA. Good luck changing this as the Spurs only allow 92.9 points per game.

San Antonio gets the win (-7.5, 190 o/u).


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