Streaks collide when Pacers host Celtics

( - The Indiana Pacers are the hottest team in the NBA and they'll try to remain so Saturday night when the Boston Celtics visit Banker's Life Fieldhouse.

The Pacers have won seven straight and own the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. They are one game clear of the Charlotte Hornets, although the Celtics are lurking just one game out of the eighth seed.

Indiana hasn't lost since Feb. 24 in Oklahoma City. The Pacers have won seven in a row as the host and close this homestand Monday when the Toronto Raptors come to town.

On Thursday, the Pacers' winning streak reached seven thanks to a 109-103 overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Rodney Stuckey contributed 25 points to lead the Pacers. Luis Scola and George Hill each tallied 17 points with Scola grabbing a season-high 15 rebounds.

C.J. Miles added 14 points and Ian Mahinmi grabbed 10 boards in place of Roy Hibbert, who missed the contest with a sore left elbow.

Zaza Pachulia, who scored 16 with 12 rebounds, opened the overtime session with a pair of free throws after Mahinmi was whistled for a flagrant-1 foul, then the Pacers scored the next nine points with Stuckey's jumper making it a 105-98 game.

The Bucks cut it to four over the final 1:30, but Hill converted two free throws with 16.7 seconds left to seal the win.

Indiana was fortunate to make overtime. They held a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, but Ersan Ilyasova missed a free throw late that would have given the Bucks the lead.

"We've got to be more disciplined. To our guy's credit, they grinded it out and got a win," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said.

The Celtics have won three straight, five of six and eight of their last 11. Their third straight victory came Friday night with a 95-88 home win over the Orlando Magic.

Evan Turner scored 16 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, and he provided the go-ahead bucket with 1:54 remaining to lead the Celtics.

"I get more comfortable down the stretch when it comes to big time moments, big time plays," Turner said. "It's always been that way. I think it's easier for me to lock in to a certain extent and obviously I already had it going a little bit and once the fourth quarter hit I took my shots."

Phil Pressey added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Boston. Kelly Olynyk scored 13 and Avery Bradley had 10 for the Celtics, who tied a season-high with their third straight win. They've also captured eight of their last nine home games.

Orlando blew an eight-point lead with just under seven minutes left.

Nikola Vucevic's jam tied the game at 85 with 2:06 left, but Turner then nailed the go-ahead jumper. He tacked on another short jumper for a four-point lead.

Brandon Bass blocked an attempt from Victor Oladipo at the other end, and Bass sent home a two-handed dunk with 53 seconds left to effectively seal the outcome.

The two teams have split two meetings this season along home lines and they will battle in Boston on April 1. Indiana has won three straight as the host in this series.