Indiana (22-19) at LA Lakers (15-31)
When: Friday, January 20th 2017
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 10:35 ET | TV: ESPN
The Indiana Pacers look to continue their hot play when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night at Staples Center. The Pacers have won seven of their last eight contests and started this three-game road trip with a comeback win in Sacramento on Wednesday night. Indiana fell into a 22-point first half hole before rallying in the second half and outscoring the Kings by 25 in the last two quarters for a 106-100 victory. Star forward Paul George scored 24 points and point guard Jeff Teague contributed 22 points and 11 assists in the victory. Indiana is averaging 113.6 points in their last eight games and the lone loss during the stretch occurred when it allowed 140 points to the Denver Nuggets in London. Teague recorded back-to-back double-doubles and is having a solid month by averaging 17.3 points and 10 assists while shooting 65.6% 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 contests. Reserve center Al Jefferson scored a season-high 20 points in 17 minutes against Sacramento.
The Lakers are going in the opposite direction with five consecutive losses after a 127-121 home loss to Denver on Tuesday night. The Lakers will try and salvage the finale of their three-game homestand before hitting the road for three straight. Backup guards Lou Williams (team-best 17.8) and Jordan Clarkson (14.0) rank as two of the team’s top three scorers, and talk around Los Angeles is that one of them could be elevated to the starting lineup soon. Williams typically plays most of the fourth quarter as the go-to scorer down the stretch but averages just 24.3 minutes per game. Starting shooting guard Nick Young scored 22 points during Tuesday’s loss to Denver after averaging just seven points on 13-of-47 shooting over the previous six games. The Lakers have lost eight of the past 10 meetings with Indiana, including a 115-108 setback on November 1st. The Lakers were a dismal 6-of-28 from 3-point territory in that contest as Williams led the team with 19 points.
Indiana is playing very well right now and this young Lakers team is still trying to figure things out. I like the Pacers to continue their hot play and put away the Lakers tonight.
Pick: Pacers -3