Paul George.

Indiana Pacers officially end three Eastern Conference franchises' playoff hopes

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Paul George inspired the Indiana Pacers to a 104-101 win over the Houston Rockets at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the early hours of Monday morning and ended three franchises' playoff hopes in the process. 

The win moved the Pacers half a game ahead of the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls in seventh place and finally confirmed an early end to the season for the New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic.

In truth, none of the organisations held realistic hopes of making it to the postseason, but the latest round of games finalised their fate.

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It continues a run of disappointing seasons for the New York Knicks, who have not made it to the playoffs since the 2012-13 campaign when they were beaten 4-2 in the second round by the Pacers. 

The Milwaukee Bucks were involved in postseason action last year, falling to the Chicago Bulls 4-2 in the opening round, and will be hopeful of a return in 2017 with one of the youngest rosters in the league. 

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For Orlando Magic, it is now four straight seasons without finishing in the top eight in the Eastern Conference. But their performances throughout the campaign have given fans hope of ending their drought next year.

Orlando Magic v Dallas Mavericks

New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Milwaukee Bucks
Central Division
Indiana Pacers
Southeast Division
Orlando Magic

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