The Pacers have a league-best 33-4 record at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the site of their past two wins over Chicago and Miami which helped ease fears that they may not get their game back before the playoffs.
While the offensive execution against the Heat left some concerns, the toughness and ability to close in such an intense game was a relief. Now the Pacers try to take that level of effort on the road when they face the Wizards in Washington on Friday night.
The Pacers still haven't had an impressive road win since Feb. 4 in Atlanta and a win in Washington by any means would be impressive at this point. The Pacers still have work to do to lock up the East with some big challenges remaining on the schedule. Since the Heat aren't as concerned with the top seed, other than sticking it to the Pacers, at some point they will go into playoff preservation mode as the regular season winds down.
The Pacers have to maintain their lead to make that happen, though which begins in Washington. The Wiz have continually improved as the season has progressed but remain inconsistent. Great wins followed by bad losses. They have recently gone through a bad stretch, losing four of their last five. So at home, they are due for a solid effort, one the Pacers will have to match to earn a win and play like the top team in the East.
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