Pacers-Knicks Preview

The Associated Press

A double-digit winnning streak to start the season wasn't in the cards for the Indiana Pacers.

Indiana still has a shot at becoming the first NBA team to reach 10 victories and will try for a second time Wednesday night in New York.

"Our guys are dialed into a New York opponent that's playing a unique style of basketball, a unique style of small ball," Pacers coach Frank Vogel told the team's official website. "We have to be ready to win the next game."

Indiana's league-best defense hadn't allowed more than 91 points prior to Saturday's 110-94 loss at Chicago. The Pacers have given up an average of 86.3 while holding opponents to 39.8 percent shooting.

The Bulls were the first team to hit at least half of their shots against the Pacers with a 50.6 percent (40 for 79) shooting night. Brooklyn's 46.1 percent on Nov. 9 had been the previous high allowed by Indiana.

The Pacers (9-1) shot a season-low 40.0 percent in the loss, including a 4-for-16 performance from 3-point range.

Leading scorer Paul George went 3 for 14 with a season-low 12 points.

"I don't feel like we were complacent but watching film, it showed that we were complacent," George said. "I think that loss helped us get back to reality that we can't just come into a gym and expect to win. We got to continue to keep working in practice and transferring it over to games because a lot of stuff that we did were uncharacteristic and I think that was a sign of us being complacent being 9-0."

George averaged 19.5 points in last season's Eastern Conference semifinals to help the Pacers oust the Knicks in six games. The series ended with an even aggregate score at 537-all.

Indiana forward Danny Granger, who missed that series and most of last season with a knee injury, remains sidelined with a strained left calf but is close to returning.

Lance Stephenson, who is probable despite a sprained right foot, scored a career-high 25 points with 10 rebounds in the Game 6 win against New York.

The Pacers' five starters in the series each led the team in scoring in at least one game, while Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in all six.

Anthony scored 25 points Tuesday in a 92-86 loss at Detroit. The Knicks (3-7) have lost three in a row for the second time this season.

They've shot 40.9 percent, including 42 for 130 from long range, during a 1-4 stretch that began with a 31-point home loss against San Antonio.

"We're going to get this together," forward Kenyon Martin said after making his first start of the season. "Teams go through slumps like that during a season, but we are doing it in November, so it gets magnified. We just have to figure out our problems on offense."

Point guard Raymond Felton sat out Tuesday with an injured left hip and lower back.

"We played like a team that was tired, but there was no reason for us to be tired," coach Mike Woodson said. "Some of that is because of Raymond, but you can't use that as an excuse."

Metta World Peace has missed consecutive games and is doubtful Wednesday against his former team after having his left knee drained on Monday.

Tyson Chandler remains out with a non-displaced fracture in his right fibula.

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