Pacers at 76ers
The Indiana Pacers jumped into third place in the Eastern Conference with a win over the No. 2 Boston Celtics on Sunday but are still charging forward with five teams hot on their trail. The Pacers will try to hold off one of those five teams when they visit the sixth-place Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.
Indiana took advantage of a Celtics team that was missing All-Star Al Horford and lost another All-Star, point guard Kyrie Irving, during the game and just held on for a 99-97 win to open a stretch of four straight games against East playoff contenders. "It feels good, man," Pacers All-Star Victor Oladipo told reporters after knocking off Boston and jumping a half-game in front of the Cleveland Cavaliers for third place in the East. "Definitely a hard-fought win for us. Tough environment. Even though they had some guys out they still played well together. They're still well coached, so that's a great win for us. Just got to continue to keep getting better." The 76ers are sitting in sixth place in the East but are only two games behind Indiana after finishing up a four-game road trip with a 120-97 thrashing of the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. Philadelphia owns a 13-game winning streak on its homecourt and will play seven of its next nine games at the Wells Fargo Center.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Indiana, NBCS Philadelphia
ABOUT THE PACERS (39-28): Indiana center Myles Turner provided the go-ahead basket on Sunday by backing his defender down and is trying to show off his post skills. "It's big. Just knowing I can be trusted down there in the post," Turner told reporters. "I've been telling people, I tell this team, I've always had a post game. It's just something I never, I guess, utilized this season and season's past. But, I'm going to grow more and more confident down there. I know it's just the next step in my development." Turner averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds in the last two games and will be trying to record three straight double-doubles for the first time this season on Tuesday.
ABOUT THE 76ERS (36-29): Philadelphia went 2-2 on its four-game trip but was happy to close it out with a victory at Brooklyn. "Lately, we have been kind of up and down," 76ers center Joel Embiid, who scored 21 points in 26 minutes, told reporters, "but I'm glad we got a win tonight. We're trying to go to the playoffs, and you have to be able to go on the road and win games." Philadelphia is trying to climb into the No. 3 or 4 spot in the East to ensure homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs and will play 11 of the remaining 17 regular-season games at home.
1. Pacers SG Bojan Bogdanovic went 4-of-5 from 3-point range on Sunday and is shooting 58.3 percent from beyond the arc over the last five games.
2. 76ers PF Dario Saric is averaging 20.5 points on 67.4 percent shooting over the last four contests.
3. The teams split the first two meetings, with Philadelphia grabbing a 121-110 win at home on Nov. 3.