NBA

Indiana Pacers may finish top of the East after Miami Heat drop points

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The Eastern Conference has been filled with ups and downs in recent months, but this weekend has shown to never underestimate the East.

The Indiana Pacers beat Oklahoma City Thunder at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse 102-97 on Sunday to move to top of the Eastern Conference, after the Miami Heat failed to beat Atlanta on Saturday.

Pacers went up against Heat on Friday night to which they lost the game 98-86, allowing Heat to move above them to first place, while Pacers were left to lick their wounds from a poor performance.

But, like the NBA, things changed quickly and the following day Erik Spoelstra's men lost 98-85 to the Hawks, and considering Dwayne Wade had returned for Heat it wasn't enough to stop Jeff Teague record 25 points for Atlanta.

So where are the Pacers now? After an outstanding win against the Thunder, they have one game remaining against the Orlando Magic who sit third from bottom in the Eastern Conference and have lost twice out of their last three encounters to Frank Vogel's side this season, as the Pacers only need one more win to secure the number one spot.

Point guard Lance Stephenson stated after the game to ESPN that they'll do everything they can to remain at the top.

"We're going to treat it like a playoff game. We have to get that number one spot. That's what we wanted from the beginning of the season so we have to take it."

Stephenson played a big part in their recent victory over Thunder, recording 17 points for the home team.

While CJ Watson, Paul George and David West all scored 20 or more points for the Pacers, they collected the win in style as not even the 38 points scored by Kevin Durant for Thunder could halt their progress.

Heat meanwhile have to take on the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers, games which aren't going to be easy based on the form Spoelstra's side are currently hitting.
However Heat have won on two occasions out of their last three meetings against the Wizards, while they've won one and lost one against the 76ers.

Frank Vogel will be looking to close the season in style and to improve from the last campaign; having finished third last season in the Eastern Conference before losing in the Conference finals to Heat 4-3.

The Pacers however have already clinched the Central Division title for the second consecutive season and they'll want to have a taste of the NBA Finals.

But with Heat having lost four of their last seven games, the pressure of winning the NBA title for a third consecutive year could be getting under their skin, as Spoelstra's men have set up top spot for the Pacers on a platter, for all they can do is wait and hope fate is on their side.

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Topics:
Eastern Conference
Indiana Pacers
NBA
Miami Heat

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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