Spurs meet Pacers, shoot for another stellar effort

NBA Basketball

The San Antonio Spurs will look to build on one of their most dominant performances of the season when they travel to Indiana to face the Pacers on Monday night.

Indiana will play the second game of a road-home back-to-back. The Pacers lost to Atlanta 129-117 on Sunday afternoon.

The Spurs, meanwhile, had lost two straight before they routed host Phoenix 111-85 Saturday to hand the Suns their worst loss of the season. San Antonio played without starters DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl and key reserve Patty Mills, all whom were held out for rest in the second game of a home-road back-to-back.

But the players the Spurs employed dominated Phoenix, leading by 19 points at the half and by as many as 31 in the fourth quarter while rolling to the win, which snapped the Suns’ four-game winning streak. Phoenix’s 85 points were 12 less than the team’s previous low output for the season and just the second time all year that the Suns were held to under 100 points in a game.

“I thought we were very active, and we stayed in front of people,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said about his defense after the win over Phoenix. “We closed out well for threes.”

Bench players Rudy Gay scored 19 points and rookie Devin Vassell had 18 for San Antonio. Vassell’s big night came after he didn’t play in the team’s previous two games.

“I know it’s a process I’m going through,” Vassell said. “I just try to stay ready. You can’t get upset about not playing. We have a great group of vets in front of me. Just stay ready whenever my number is called; that’s it.”

Keldon Johnson added 17 points for San Antonio in Saturday’s win, with Dejounte Murray scoring 14, Drew Eubanks hitting for 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and Derrick White tallying 12 points.

The Pacers head home after the loss to Atlanta on Sunday. Indiana has lost two straight after beating Houston to open its three-game trip.

Malcolm Brogdon led the Pacers with 29 points Sunday, with Domantas Sabonis adding 18 points and 14 rebounds, T.J. McConnell scoring 18 points, Edmond Sumner hitting for 14, and Caris LeVert contributing 11.

Indiana was at its worst at the start — when it let the Hawks take a 35-23 lead after one quarter — and at the finish. The game was tied at 107 with 4:40 to play before Atlanta ended on a 22-10 run.

“We’ve got to play defense. We go to be a better defensive team than we were,” Brogdon said. “Shots are going to fall. It’s a race for the playoffs. Seeding can change quickly. Whoever can get the most stops and stay locked in and focused I think will be in a good position.”

Myles Turner returned to action for Indiana after missing six straight games with a left-ankle injury and had nine points and 11 rebounds.

Indiana beat the Spurs 139-133 in overtime in the teams’ other meeting this season, April 3 in San Antonio. LeVert led the winners with 26 points.

–Field Level Media

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