NBA

Pacers welcome Knicks, chance to play at home

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers will look to end a two-game losing streak when they play host to the New York Knicks on Monday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The teams have met twice this season, with the home team winning both times.

The Pacers (22-21) have won seven of their last 10 games despite the recent straggles. They are returning home after a three-game Western road trip.

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Things haven't gone well for the Pacers on the road this season, but they have put together a 16-5 home record.

"I think one of the biggest things right now is energy," forward Thaddeus Young told Pacers.com. "We start off with a lot of energy at home, get ourselves a big lead and we are able to sustain that throughout the games.

"For some reason in the second half (on the road) we tend to pick it up, but it's just too hard. You make a run and tire yourself out."

Indiana standout Paul George had similar comments after a 109-100 loss to Utah on Saturday night.

"To be honest, I didn't even feel the energy within our group tonight," George told The Indianapolis Star. "From the huddle to the layup line, it was just dead."

It's not the first time Pacers players have made those type of comments.

At times, they look like a top team in the Eastern Conference. Other times, they look disinterested, especially on the defensive end.

Only time will tell if they'll pick things up away from home or continue their inconsistent play.

The Knicks (19-26) have been consistent lately, but not in the way they'd like. They've lost seven of their last nine games.

After a promising 14-10 start to the season, the Knicks have gone just 5-16 since. Their last three losses have all been within three points, adding to their recent frustration.

New York fell 107-105 to the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night at home despite another 30-point night from Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony had a chance to win the game with a 3-pointer but missed.

"You couldn't have asked for a better look or a better shot than that," Anthony told NorthJersey.com. "The shot felt good. It was a tough one to see not go in."

Offensively, Monday's opponents have similar numbers.

The Knicks average 105.5 points per game and the Pacers average 105.4.

They both average 14.3 turnovers per game and both shoot 36 percent from behind the arc.

The matchup between All-Stars George and Anthony will be one to watch.

The Pacers have won eight of the last nine meetings between the teams, including a 123-109 victory over the Knicks earlier this month.

Rodney Stuckey (left hamstring strain) and Lance Thomas (left orbital fracture) are still out for Indiana and New York, respectively.

With the Pacers and Knicks squaring off, it's only fitting that Reggie Miller will be in the building. The game will be televised at 8 p.m. ET on TNT, with Miller serving as one of the analysts.