Pacers hang onto to final playoff spot

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The Pacers practice at Bankers Life Fieldhouse before leaving for their final road trip of the regular season. (WXIN April 7, 2017)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Pacers head into the final weekend of the NBA’s regular season in possession of the final playoff spot in the East.

The Raptors beat Heat 96-94 in Toronto on Friday night to keep the Heat one game behind Indiana for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with three games to play.

The Pacers practiced at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Friday afternoon before leaving for Saturday’s game in Orlando with the 28-51 Magic.

“We know what we have to do,” head coach Nate McMillan said.  “We’re not looking past Orlando.  We need to go there and play a good game.  We’ve beaten them three times, so they’re going to be ready to play.”

“They’re a great young team,” said guard Lance Stephenson.  “They have coach Frank and they have nothing to lose, so they’re going to come out and play hard and push us.  Nothing comes easy, so I don’t think they’re going to take it lightly.”

“We should be fine,” forward Paul George said.  “If we take this business approach and get serious about wanting to make the postseason, we should be fine.  If we don’t, then we don’t deserve it, but if we handle our business and take care of what we need to take care of, we should be fine.”

After the game in Orlando, the Blue and Gold head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers before wrapping up the regular season at home against the Hawks on Wednesday.