The Pacers have now won four consecutive games after dropping four straight prior to that, but Indiana's latest victory on Monday may have taken more effort than you'd expect. The Philadelphia 76ers got to within one score late in the fourth quarter before the Pacers finished off a 99-90 win. This is only notable because the 76ers have lost 21 straight games and are boasting a league-worst point differential of minus-11.4.
Indiana shot 38 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 15 times. Paul George sealed the deal against a Philly team that never should have been that close, but there the Sixers were. Coming into the game, the Pacers owned the seventh-worst offense in the league over the last 26 games at 102 points per 100 possessions, per NBA.com's stats page. They were 16-10 during that stretch.
It's a long, long season full of ebbs and flows, but the Pacers feel as if they're hanging onto their spot at the top of the Eastern Conference by a thread at the moment. Maybe it's just a phase.
Indiana has shown it can compete at the highest level of the conference playoffs, but these results are disconcerting for a team with title aspirations. Especially considering the way the Pacers have played since late January.