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Pacers beat Hawks 104-86 to clinch playoff spot

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

With their backs against the wall, the Pacers clinched a spot in the playoffs with a win at home over the Hawks.

The team came through to cap off the regular season with a five-game win streak. The victory secured the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, setting up an opening round battle with the second-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I’m happy with that, I’m all right with that,” Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said after the game. “You know, we got ourselves in, we had an uphill climb in the sense that we had to win out these last five games, and our guys responded to that.”

A clutch 32 point, 11 rebound performance from Paul George, his 11th double-double of the season, led the Pacers to the 104-86 win over the Hawks. Pacers guard and Indianapolis native Jeff Teague had 19 points in the win, with center Myles Turner adding 16 points.

“It showed the character of this team and that all along we knew we should have been a playoff team, we just had to figure out how to play the game the right way, and I think and I thought we did that,” George said.

As they prepare for the first round of the postseason, Teague will be under close watch after limping off the court late in the game with an ankle injury. However, Nate Taylor of the Indy Star reports that left ankle injury is considered minor.

The Pacers will open the best-of-seven series on Saturday at Cleveland with tip-off set for 3 p.m.

Here’s the playoff schedule:

  • Game 1: Pacers at Cavs, Saturday, April 15 at 3 p.m. (ABC)
  • Game 2: Pacers at Cavs, Monday, April 17 at 7 p.m. (TNT)
  • Game 3: Cavs at Pacers, Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. (TNT)
  • Game 4: Cavs at Pacers, Sunday, April 23 at 1 p.m. (ABC)
  • Game 5: Pacers at Cavs, Tuesday, April 25 (if necessary, time TBD)
  • Game 6: Cavs at Pacers, Thursday, April 27 (if necessary, time TBD)
  • Game 7: Pacers at Cavs, Saturday, April 29 (if necessary, time TBD)