The Indiana Pacers hosted the Milwaukee Bucks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Monday, March 5. While both teams are securely in position to earn a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, they are still in a tough battle to advance in the standings. Earning the third or fourth seed would be huge for either team because that lets them host the first playoff series while also avoiding the Toronto Raptors or Boston Celtics.
A relatively small crowd showed up to the game in Indianapolis on Monday, but that did not stop the Pacers from gaining a home-court advantage. Indiana played suffocating defense on the Bucks throughout the first quarter, which helped them get a three-point lead despite only scoring 20 points. The defense was less effective for the Pacers in the second quarter, so they went into halftime down two points.
After struggling to find their shooting touch the entire first half, the offense finally came alive for the Pacers early in the third quarter. They quickly regained the lead and held it for the rest of the quarter. Despite having a 13-point lead at one point in the second half, Indiana was up by only one point with 60 seconds left to play. A big jump ball win by Bojan Bogdanovic in the final seconds secured the 92-89 win for the Pacers.
The Pacers now have the fourth-best record in the conference after the big win over Milwaukee. After getting a day to rest, they will return to action with a home game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, March 7.