(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Mavericks continue their march to the postseason, but they'll fight a desperate Indiana Pacers team Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Mavs are seventh in the Western Conference, 1 1/2 games behind the San Antonio Spurs. They are four clear of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Indiana is fighting to make the postseason. The Pacers trail the Boston Celtics by a game for the eighth and final spot in the playoffs, although the Brooklyn Nets are in between -- just a half-game back. Both Boston and Brooklyn are in action on Sunday.
The Mavs started their three-game road trip with an ugly, 94-76 loss to the defending champion San Antonio Spurs.
Tyson Chandler scored 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and Monta Ellis added 10 points for the Mavericks, who have dropped three of their last four. They were the only double-figure scorers for a Mavs team which shot 37.8 percent from the field and 22 percent from long range.
The Spurs never trailed in this game and closed the first quarter with the final nine points as Boris Diaw's 3-pointer made it a 28-18 game going into the second.
San Antonio scored the first six points of the second to build a 16-point lead, and the advantage reached as high as 19 before the Mavericks made a late run to cut their deficit to 54-41 at the break.
"We didn't compete in the first half," Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons said. "We have to play for 48 minutes."
Dallas will visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.
The Pacers have lost seven of their last eight and four straight at home.
On Thursday, Indiana fell to the Milwaukee Bucks, 111-107,
C.J. Miles led the Pacers with 26 points and George Hill chipped in with 24.
The Pacers, who trailed by as many as 23 in the first half, continued to chip away at the deficit. Hill buried three straight 3-pointers to help Indiana cut the margin to 94-92 with 5:42 remaining, but Milwaukee's Michael Carter- Williams answered at the other end with a three-point play. Carter-Williams then assisted on Khris Middleton's trey that stretched the advantage back to eight with under five minutes to play.
Roy Hibbert netted a jumper with 19.9 seconds left to close within two before Giannis Antetokounmpo split a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 110-107. Hill dribbled out the clock and got a decent look at a tying 3- pointer, but it rimmed out and the Bucks held on.
"I'm proud of our fight and trying to get back into it, but we can't start out that way," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.
The Pacers have won four of the last six meetings between the two teams, who have split the last six encounters in Indianapolis.