- It's do or die for the Indiana Pacers. – (SportsNetwork.com) - It's do or die for the Indiana Pacers.
With the eighth and final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference within reach, the Pacers hope to punch their ticket to the playoffs Wednesday on the road against the tough Memphis Grizzlies.
The Pacers are a game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets and need a win at FedExForum for their fifth consecutive playoff appearance. The Nets hold the tiebreaker over Indiana and will host the Orlando Magic Wednesday night.
Top-seeded Atlanta awaits the No. 8 seed.
Indiana stayed alive with Tuesday's 99-95 double-overtime triumph versus the Washington Wizards and eliminated the four-time defending Eastern Conference- champion Miami Heat in the process. C.J. Miles scored 25 points and George Hill flirted with a triple-double, posting 24 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
The Pacers scored a 48-40 advantage in the second half and netted 14 of the 24 points in the second overtime. David West had 15 points and eight rebounds in the Pacers' sixth straight win.
"I couldn't be more proud of our group," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "All- out effort and perseverance."
Washington led by four with 3:19 remaining in regulation when Miles converted a three-point play that started an 8-0 run for a 79-75 Pacers' lead. Even Wizards All-Star guard John Wall was impressed with the atmosphere.
"It was like a playoff game," Wall said. "We knew it was going to be a battle... We fought and it prepared us for the playoffs."
Each team was successful on its first possession of the second overtime, then each committed a turnover. Miles fired in a 3-pointer and George Hill found an open West underneath for a layup to make it 92-87.
Bradley Beal kept Washington in it with a 3-pointer with under two minutes left to close within two. It remained a two-point lead for the Pacers when Hill buried a 3-pointer that helped them inch closer to a playoff berth.
Paul George scored 10 points off the Indiana bench and Roy Hibbert grabbed 12 rebounds to go along with six points. George, of course, recently made his season debut just in time for the playoff push.
Miles is averaging 26.3 ppg in his last three games.
Indiana has a 15-25 road record and is 3-5 in the last eight games outside Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies are still jockeying for position in the West and are currently sixth in the standings - one game behind Houston and San Antonio. The Rockets are fifth and host the Jazz Wednesday, while the Spurs sit third and visit New Orleans.
The Los Angeles Clippers are second can finish no lower than third. San Antonio will wrap up the No. 2 spot and the Southwest title with a win.
The Grizzlies went 1-2 on a recent trip and lost for the sixth time in 10 tries with Monday's 111-107 setback at Golden State. A 41-18 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter wasn't enough to lift Memphis and Jordan Adams led the visitors with 19 points off the bench. Russ Smith added 16 in a reserve role.
Zach Randolph was the only Memphis starter to score in double digits, as he recorded 10 points and five rebounds. Marc Gasol added six points and Jeff Green finished with four in defeat.
"We didn't compete," Gasol said. "I don't know if everybody realized how important that game was."
Memphis is 30-10 at home and has won three of the last four games on Beale Street. Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (ankle) and Gasol (ankle) are questionable versus the Pacers.
The Grizzlies defeated the Pacers, 97-89, back on Oct. 31 in Indy, as Randolph recorded 22 points and 13 rebounds. Gasol had 20 points and Miles countered with 13 points in that one for the Pacers, who have dropped back-to-back games in this series after winning the previous three encounters.
Memphis is 7-3 in the past 10 games against Indiana.