The Indiana Pacers hold a one game lead for the third spot in the Eastern Conference after beating the Toronto Raptors on Monday night. Making the playoffs has seemed like a foregone conclusion for some time but as the race for the final five spots in the conference has tightened clinching that spot in the post-season party will still be sweet.
With Milwaukee losing last night so the Pacers are up seven games on the Bucks with nine to play. That puts Pacers magic number to clinch a spot in the playoffs at three, meaning any combination of Indiana wins and Milwaukee losses that adds up to three will do the trick. The two teams play in Milwaukee on Saturday so unless the Pacers begin a grand implosion, they can lock up that post-season spot on Saturday at the latest.
The Pacers will have plenty to play for after clinching though as they try to maintain home court advantage for the first round. Still, with the playoff berth a given, it will be nice to stop and appreciate the progress this year.
Check out the links after the jump along with my thoughts following the win last night.
- Box score: Pacers 103, Raptors 98
- Pacers Get A Boost From Barbosa To Beat Raptors - Indy Cornrows Video
- Rewind: Pacers vs. Celtics 120407 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
- Pacers return to winning | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
- Pacers notebook: Leandro Barbosa offers energy | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
- Toronto Raptors fall short in 103-98 loss to Indiana Pacers - thestar.com
- Pacers hold off Raptors, 103-98 - AP
- NBA Playoff Picture: Now The Bucks Feast! - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
- Raptors Make Second Half Push but Fall to Pacers, 103 to 98 (Rapid Recap) - Raptors HQ
- Stan Van Gundy liberates himself in exposing Dwight Howard's power play for a new Magic coach - Yahoo! Sports
- Derrick Rose injures ankle, game time decision vs. Knicks | ProBasketballTalk
- 2012 Nike Hoop Summit: Top 5 Prospects From The Weekend In Portland - SBNation.com
- NBA draft: Should Cody Zeller, Christian Watford, Marquis Teague stay or go? | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
- Morway’s Plan for Pacers Comes Together | HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors
- Bob Knight, a disgrace of his own design, calls the ‘one and done’ rule ‘a disgrace’ | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo! Sports