NBA Recap: Pacers Lose East No. 1 as Spurs Gains 18th Straight Win
By James Patrick Quizon | April 1, 2014 9:30 PM EST
The Indiana Pacers were hoping to avoid a three-game skid when they hosted the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night. Paul George and company couldn’t snap out of their struggles however as Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and the rest of the Spurs delivered the 103-77 beating.
NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Indiana Pacers
Led by Parker (22 points), the Spurs started like a house on fire and built a 25-15 lead in the first quarter and added some more at halftime, 48-35. San Antonio never looked back and cruised to a 103-77 win for a franchise-record 18th straight victory.
Duncan only had 9 points but multiple players once again contributed in Greg Popovich's system. Kawhi Leonard had 13 points and 11 rebounds while reserves Boris Diaw (14 points) and Patty Mills (10 points) provided the production off the bench.
The Pacers were again listless on offense. Paul George, Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson combined to shoot just 16-of-39 from the field. All three ended up in double-figure scoring but no other player from Indiana could muster more than 7 points. As a team, the Pacers shot 26-of-69 or just 37.7 per cent.
Indiana also had more turnovers, 15-8 and San Antonio scored more in the paint, 42-28.
The Spurs look to stretch the winning run but will face three tough tests in their next three: on schedule are the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies. San Antonio is now 3 and 1/2 games ahead of OKC for the league's best record.
Meanwhile, the Pacers lost the No. 1 seed in the East to the Miami Heat, which beat the Toronto Raptors, 93-83 also on Monday.
Indiana meets Miami on April 11 and that could be crucial in deciding who will own homecourt advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.
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