Indiana Pacers at Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets (45-22) host the Indiana Pacers (44-25) on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Each team
enters Saturday on a two-game winning streak and winners of three out of their previous five games.
Denver is listed at -6.5 in this game over Denver.
Denver Seeking Top Seed
The Nuggets were able to sneak past the Dallas Mavericks with a 100-99 victory on Thursday. Nikola
Jokic saved the game with a buzzer-beater for Denver, earning him some support in the MVP race. Jokic
hit a falling, one-handed shot as time expired to lift the Nuggets over the weary Mavericks.
The Nuggets trailed by 12 early in the fourth quarter. Jokic finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds and eight
assists, hitting all four of his field goals in the fourth – including the game-winner.
“That’s what we need him to do. He’s been doing it for us all year,” teammate Paul Millsap said. “He’s got
my vote for MVP, for sure.”
Denver called a timeout and drew up a play for Jokic. He drove to the right of Dwight Powell, stopped and
thought about a fadeaway, but the shot wasn’t there.
“I felt like he was going to block it, so I just go to the right hand and throw it somehow. And the ball went
in,” Jokic said. “Powell played really good defense. He was right there but I made a lucky shot.”
Millsap finished with a season-high 33 points for the Nuggets, who strengthened their hold on the No. 2
seed in the Western Conference after holding Dallas to 10 points in the fourth quarter. They lead the
surging Houston Rockets by 3 ½ games with 15 to go.
Pacers Looking to Keep Surging
The Pacers were able to rally from an 18-point deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-106. Paul
George figured to be the feature attraction in his second visit to Indiana since a blockbuster trade two
years ago. Domantas Sabonis and Wesley Matthews upstaged the former Pacer on Thursday night.
Matthews tipped in a basket with 1.8 seconds left and Indiana rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the
Thunder. Sabonis added 26 points against his former team.
“Man, this team fights. That’s one of the big reasons why I chose to come here,” Matthews said. “We fight,
we compete. No lead is too much. We needed a win against a playoff team, and that’s what we’ve got to
do going forward.”
Matthews finished with 16 points and seven rebounds to help Indiana cut its magic number for clinching
a playoff spot to one
“Domantas really came in during that second half and established us,” coach Nate McMillan said. “I
thought we did a good job, especially late, pressuring their dribble, getting some deflections and really
disrupting their rhythm defensively. That is what we have to be about and, really, it came at the right time
Nuggets Top Pacers
Saturday will mark the first of two meetings between these teams this season. Denver will travel to
Indiana next Sunday, March 24. We’re going to take the Nuggets at home this time, as both teams match