(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers are on a mini roll and will try to extend their season high win streak to three games Friday versus the Denver Nuggets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers ended a six-game losing streak Monday versus the Utah Jazz and made it back-to-back wins with Wednesday's 81-75 defeat of the Miami Heat in South Beach. Chris Copeland's layup with 42.8 seconds remaining put the Pacers ahead late and they sealed the game from the line to end a six-game skid in Miami.
Indiana trailed 42-41 at halftime and used its advantage on the boards with an 18-7 count in rebounds in the third quarter. A three-point play by Ian Mahinmi with 7:04 to go made it 72-65 and the Pacers fended off the Heat for the first road win of the season.
Copeland had 17 points, Roy Hibbert posted 16 and 15 rebounds, and Donald Sloan added 15 points, as the Pacers outrebounded the Heat by a 53-28 advantage and prevailed despite shooting only 37.5 percent. Indiana has outrebounded eight of the first nine opponents by an average of 7.6 rebounds per game and is third in the league with 46.8 rpg.
"We just battled as hard as we could," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. "I think they just had an off night, and our guys competed their tails off."
Vogel's squad is still toiling without David West, George Hill, Rodney Stuckey, C.J. Watson, and, of course, Paul George. C.J. Miles is probable against the Nuggets with migraines.
The Nuggets will begin a three-game road trip Friday night against Indiana, New York and Cleveland, and have lost six in a row since opening the season with a win versus Detroit.
Denver, which is 0-3 on the road, suffered a 130-113 setback at home to the Portland Trail Blazers and was led by Ty Lawson's 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting. J.J. Hickson came off the bench to record 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Wilson Chandler netted 11 points in defeat.
Portland led 39-28 after 12 minutes and had a 45-22 scoring advantage in the second quarter.
"I thought we started out well," said Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw. "Ended up giving up 39 points in the first quarter followed by a 45-point second quarter. We got booed by the fans, which we deserved based on the effort that we gave out there on the floor."
Shaw could be without guard Randy Foye Friday as the reserve is bothered by a bruised right knee. He is averaging 10.9 points this season.
The Nuggets are 29th in opponents' scoring at 111.1 ppg and Indiana is third, allowing just 92.4 ppg.
Denver and Indiana split a pair of meetings last season and each team held serve as the host. The Nuggets, though, have taken 15 of the previous 19 games in this series and are 7-3 in the last 10 matchups in Indy.