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Phoenix at Indiana

Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
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The Central Division-leading Indiana Pacers received an unexpected break in their schedule.

Facing the slumping Phoenix Suns could be another break.

Playing its first game in six days, Indiana goes for a season-best fourth consecutive victory on Friday night when Phoenix tries to snap its longest road losing streak in three years.

Looking to build on victories at Cleveland and New Orleans, the Pacers (16-12) didn't get a chance to extend their winning streak on Wednesday when their game versus Chicago was postponed due to a snowstorm that hit Indianapolis.

As a result, Indiana will now try to win for the seventh time in eight games with its first matchup against Phoenix (11-18) this season.

The Suns have won four in a row over the Pacers and six of seven visiting Indiana following a 113-111 victory on March 23, but they open their three-game trip with six straight losses outside the desert. It's their longest road skid since a seven-game stretch spanning Dec. 1-26, 2009.

Phoenix will try to avoid matching that run after dropping its third straight overall on Wednesday, 99-97 to New York.

Knicks guard J.R. Smith hit a shot over P.J. Tucker at the buzzer after point guard Sebastian Telfair turned the ball over on the other end with one second remaining.

"Obviously it was a really tough loss, difficult loss," said coach Alvin Gentry, whose team won a season-best four in a row prior to this slide. "I thought we did a good job of fighting back but we've got to do something about the second quarter."

The Suns were outscored 27-15 in that period after getting outscored 30-19 in the second quarter of Sunday's 103-77 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Pacers had an awful second quarter on Saturday - getting outscored 28-18 and falling behind the Hornets by 22 - but David West scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half of the 81-75 victory.

"I thought the team did a good job of just gaining our composure and getting a little more focused defensively (in the second half)," said West, the team leader with 17.4 points per game and 8.1 rebounds.

The Pacers lead the league in scoring defense (89.9) and field goal defense (40.8 percent).

That does not bode well for a Suns team averaging 89.0 points on 42.5 percent field-goal shooting since their last victory.

Phoenix could be more hard-pressed to end the Pacers' season-best three-game home winning streak if point guard Goran Dragic doesn't play. Dragic, the Suns' leader with 14.1 points and 6.2 assists per game, sat out the second half on Wednesday after getting undercut by Smith and suffering bruises to his hip, back and wrist.

"You do not want to see any of your teammates hit the floor like that," Telfair said. "Hopefully he will be back next game."

It's uncertain if Pacers guard Gerald Green will return after missing Saturday's contest with a sprained left ankle. Green had 35 points off the bench in the previous two games.

Since a nine-game stretch on the Suns' bench, swingman Jared Dudley is averaging 18.1 points on 56.0 percent shooting in nine contests. He hit five 3-pointers and scored a career-best 36 on Wednesday.

Phoenix has won 11 of 13 in this series.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Phoenix 6.5 Indiana -6.5
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Phoenix2nd Pacific 21.6670.52-1Won 1
Indiana5th Central 23.40022-3Won 1

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Injuries
Phoenix
PlayerInjury
A LenFinger
Indiana
PlayerInjury
I MahinmiShoulder
 
Key Players
Luis<br>Scola
Luis
Scola
, PF
25.8 Min. Per Game 28.6 Roy<br>Hibbert
Roy
Hibbert
, C
11.7 Pts. Per Game 9.9
2.0 Ast. Per Game 1.5
6.2 Reb. Per Game 8.2
46.8 Field Goal % 40.4
12.5 Three Point % 0.0
81.7 Free Throw % 64.5
 
Team Rankings
TeamRankPoints
Phoenix Suns2666.27
Indiana Pacers981.68
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
Dec 21 @ Minnesota 
Jan 13Indiana 
 
Other Games
Orl 97 Final
Wash 105
Atl 102 Final
Cle 94
Mia 99 Final
Det 109
Char 81 Final
Brook 97
Tor 104 Final
NO 97
Den 106 Final
Dal 85
Hou 116 Final
SA 122
LAC 116 Final
Utah 114
NY 105 Final
Sac 106
Phi 89 Final
GS 96
Port 87 Final
LAL 104