The match-up Wednesday night between the Pacers and the 76ers wasn’t a playoff game, but it could have been a sign of things to come. Currently, these two teams occupy the fourth and fifth positions in the Eastern conference. If the NBA playoffs started today, Philadelphia and Indiana would do battle in the first round.
The 76ers defeated the Pacers by double digits during their first meeting in Philadelphia, on Jan 9th. Their match-up in Indiana on Wednesday ended up being reversed, and much more lopsided. The Pacers turned the tables on the 76ers, taking the 111-94 win, in the second of four meetings between these teams this season.
Coming into Indiana on Wednesday night, the 76ers had the best team shooting defense in the NBA, allowing only 41% shooting to opponents. The Pacers shot a season-high 56.6% from the floor against Philadelphia in Wednesday’s win. Indiana came into the game ranked fifth in the NBA in overall free throws attempted. The Pacers shot 81.8% from the free throw line at home Wednesday, hitting 18-22 foul shots.
The game was Indiana’s first ESPN broadcast of the season. Opening up for a double-header that was headlined by the Miami Heat versus the Chicago Bulls, the Pacers put up a strong home performance. Indiana won their second game in a row, finishing up their second out of three sets of back-to-back games within an eight-day period.
These two teams will meet two more times this season. Indiana will play at Philadelphia on April 17th, and Philadelphia will play the Pacers again, in Indiana, on April 21st.