NBA: Pacers beat 76ers to clinch playoff berth

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at May 12 2021 11:20 AM

NBA: Pacers beat 76ers to clinch playoff berth 1
Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert (22) reacts after a three-point basket during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Trevor Ruszkowski, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Caris LeVert scored 24 points and Domantas Sabonis posted a triple-double with 16 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds to lead the host Indiana Pacers to a 103-94 comeback win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night.

The Pacers (33-36) clinched a berth in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament with their second consecutive victory coupled with the Chicago Bulls' loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

The Sixers (47-22), who were without star center Joel Embiid due to an illness not related to COVID-19, had their season-long eight-game winning streak snapped and were unable to secure the top seed in the East.

Indiana, which holds ninth place in the East, also increased its lead to one game over the 10th-place Washington Wizards as the teams vie for home-court advantage if they were to play in the 9-10 matchup of the play-in round.

Tobias Harris led Philadelphia, which leads Brooklyn by two games with three remaining, by scoring a game-high 27 points.

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But LeVert, who also had seven rebounds and five assists, scored nine points during an 11-0 run by the Pacers, which put them ahead 99-92 with 57.6 seconds remaining.

LeVert scored 13 of his points in the fourth and came up huge again for the short-handed Pacers, who played without Malcolm Brogdon (sore hamstring), Jeremy Lamb (sore knee) and Edmond Sumner (left knee contusion).

Sabonis had secured his ninth triple-double of the season before the end of the third quarter as Indiana outscored Philadelphia 24-13 in the period and held the Sixers to 32 total points in the second half.

Doug McDermott also had 20 points while Justin Holiday totaled 16 points and five rebounds. T.J. McConnell added 10 points and six rebounds.

Ben Simmons finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while rookie Tyrese Maxey had 11 points and Seth Curry finished with 10.

Shake Milton (sore knee) was a late scratch for the Sixers. Furkan Korkmaz (right ankle sprain) and Matisse Thybulle (left hand soreness) were also out.

Pacers forward JaKarr Sampson (concussion) returned to action, but he scored only two points in less than four minutes.


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