Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder battle for playoff positions

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The stakes are high in the last Sunday of the NBA's regular season.

After losing to the Dwyane Wade-less Heat, 98-86, on Friday, it looked like Indiana was destined for second place. But Indiana got some help from Atlanta on Saturday. The Hawks needed to win one of their last three games to lock up the final playoff spot in the East and did so at home against the Heat.

Miami's loss knotted things back up atop the Eastern Conference, giving the Pacers some hope. A win over Oklahoma City would keep Indiana's hope for the top spot alive.

The Thunder are playing for high stakes, too. They've clinched at least a tie with the Clippers but need a win over Indiana to lock up the No. 2 spot in the West.

They've hit a groove lately, winning three games in a row, including a critical game against the Clippers in Los Angeles. In that outing, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 57 points. Durant is likely the league's MVP and Westbrook is a human blitzkrieg. The duo puts a ton of pressure on defenses because they never stop attacking.

The Pacers are just 3-8 in their last 11 and have stalled out on offense, but they are still a stout defensive team. Paul George's defense versus Durant's offense is the matchup to keep an eye on here.

The Pacers have talked all year about home important it is for them to win the top spot and home court advantage in the playoffs. Now is their chance to earn it.

ABC will show this game at 1 p.m. ET.


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