Tonight in the NBA: Pacers battle Knicks in New York

Tonight in the NBA: Pacers battle Knicks in New York
April 14, 2013, 12:30 pm
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The 76ers are in action today against the Cavaliers, their third matchup of the year (see game notes).

Despite no playoff implications for either team, the Sixers will honor the 1982-83 championship team today at the Wells Fargo Center.

Here are a few other NBA games to watch for:

Pacers at Knicks, 3:30 p.m.

New York will host Indiana today in a potential preview of a second-round playoff battle. If the Knicks can come away with the win, they will clinch the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference and be able to rest their starters before the playoffs.

The Pacers were a game ahead of New York in the East on March 17, before the Knicks went on a 14 of 15 run, all but cementing themselves with the No. 2 seed.

Yet, despite the Knicks being one seed ahead of the Pacers, New York has not fared well against Indiana this season. The season series between the two is currently 2-1 in favor of the Pacers, but that does not tell the whole story. In the two games the Knicks lost, they were kept to a shooting percentage of only 34.8 percent and 33.7 percent from the field.

Spurs at Lakers, 9:30 p.m.

In the Lakers' first game they have to play without Kobe Bryant, they will have to take on the top-seeded powerhouse Spurs. Bryant, who was third in the league in points per game with 27.3, tore his Achilles tendon on Friday and underwent season-ending surgery.

The loss was devastating for Los Angeles, which is still fighting to keep the last seed in the West (they are one game ahead of the Jazz), but the team vows not to hang their heads.

"We know he's out, but we can't put our heads down like it's over with," Lakers center Dwight Howard said. "We have to go out there and play. We have a lot of talented guys on this team. I think we can accomplish something great, with or without Kobe."

The Spurs on the other hand, have complete control of their fate, already clinching their division and No. 2 seed. San Antonio can sweep the three-game series against the Lakers with a win tonight. They have outscored the Lakers 192-187 this season.

Trail Blazers at Nuggets, 5 p.m.

The Nuggets will welcome Portland to the Pepsi Center tonight, hoping to set a couple franchise records. If Denver can get the win, it would mark a franchise-best 37 wins at home and 55 wins in a season.

Plus, if the Nuggets can stay in either the No. 3 or 4 spot in the playoffs and grab home-court advantage, it would benefit them greatly. Denver has an NBA-best 36-3 record at home.

Portland, which showed some promise in the middle of the season, has completely fallen off the ledge. They are on a current 10-game losing streak, and don’t seem likely to brake it with a tough road game in Denver. That being said, guard Damian Lillard is still in the conversation for Rookie of the Year, averaging 19 points and 6.5 assists per game.

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