The Pacers practiced at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Monday afternoon, although Roy Hibbert (sinus infection) andDonald Sloan (food poisoning) took the day off. That left plenty of time to take in the NBA action involving several other playoff contenders in the East on Monday night.
The scores fell in the Pacers' favor and by the end of the night, the Pacers were in seventh place and drew within 4.5 games of sixth place Milwaukee. With 20 games remaining, just qualifying for the playoffs will remain a feat, but while we're at it, might as well start considering the best-case scenarios.
Among the key scores, the Washington Wizards finally cooled off the Charlotte Hornets, 95-69. The Hornets had been stride-for-stride with the Pacers during their 5-game winning streak, but maybe this thumping at the hands of the Wiz will cool off the Hornets.
Also, the Boston Celtics made their presence felt in the playoff race by beating the Miami Heat, 100-90. The win keeps Boston lingering around while giving the Pacers a half game cushion on the Heat. Here's a look at the latest standings on NBA.com.
The Pacers play the Magic on Tuesday night so needless to say, a sixth consecutive win will clear the Pacers for sole possession of seventh place by a half game over Charlotte. Detroit is sliding, five games out of eighth place with four teams to jump, but they continue to be a factor and play the in L.A. against the Lakers as the only other game of note in the playoff race watch.
Check out the links: