Pacers hold off on Sixers, 101-98, key in Eastern Conference tilt

Sixers lose 101-98 to Pacers in game with playoff implications | Rapid reaction

Sixers lose 101-98 to Pacers in game with playoff implications | Rapid reaction

Unlike the previous two quarter, the Sixers never allowed the Pacers to extend the lead and went blow for blow with the three seed in the east. The duo went a combined 5-for-32 from the field, but their teammates picked them up and both players made key plays down the stretch as IN (40-28) picked up a 101-98 victory over the 76ers (36-30).

The Sixers are now sixth in the Eastern Conference, but have one of the easiest remianing schedules in the league after tonight's bout with Indiana.

The 76ers used an early 8-0 run to open up a 14-9 lead on Tuesday night, but the Pacers quickly answered, reeling off 14 unanswered points to surge back in front.

The Pacers led throughout the second half, but they had a hard time separating themselves from Philadelphia.

IN led by as many as 11 points in the opening frame and took a 33-23 lead into the second quarter.

Redick hit a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining in the second quarter to pull the Sixers within 57-53. Embiid then had a tying 3-point attempt go off the front of the rim. Sabonis had to be helped to the locker room - where he was diagnosed with a sprained left ankle - and did not return. Former Sixer Thaddeus Young scored six of his 11 third quarter points as soon as Simmons left and helped IN take a 80-71 lead.

The Sixers got a break when Turner picked up his fifth foul with 5:45 remaining and was replaced by Al Jefferson (only playing due to the injury to Sabonis).

Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, recorded a milestone triple-double and led the Oklahoma City Thunder to their fourth-straight win, 119-107 over the Atlanta Hawks.

Booker converted a putback basket on his first offensive possession, then played tough defense on Philadelphia's All-Star center Joel Embiid on the other end to force a miss. Now 36-29, the Sixers are just two games behind the third-seeded Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference, with the tiebreaker up for grabs tonight.

With less than a minute to go J.J. Redick hit a quick three following two free throws from Thaddeus Young to shrink the IN lead to five points.

On the ensuing possession, Victor Oladipo was called with an offensive foul in the backcourt after being trapped by Ben Simmons and T.J. McConnell. Out of a timeout, Embiid had a look to tie the game, but missed his shot and Šarić and Oladipo grabbed the rebound simultaneously, resulting in a jump ball with three seconds to play.

Oladipo won the jump ball, and Bojan Bogdanovic wisely smacked the loose ball off of Ben Simmons to give IN possession, and the 101-98 victory.

Turner led IN with 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting to go along with six rebounds. In his three games with the Pacers, Booker is averaging 4.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in 16.7 minutes.

Embiid led all scorers with 29 points to go along with 12 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks, but he also committed eight turnovers. Ben Simmons's seventh triple-double of the season featured 10 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Clippers retained their place in a play-offs spot with a 112-106 win over the Chicago Bulls while the Dallas Mavericks defeated the New York Knicks 110-97.