Sixers vs. Pacers, 7 p.m. CSN
Pacers 3 over Sixers
The Sixers and Pacers have split their two meetings this season with the Sixers lone win coming on Jan. 9. The Pacers ripped the Sixers 111-94 on March 14 where Indianas bench scored 47 points, including 17 from George Hill.
Sixers: 31-29 (Third place in the Atlantic Division; eighth place in Eastern Conference).
Pacers: 39-22 (Second place in the Central Division; third place in the Eastern Conference).
The Sixers on Monday shot 50 percent from the floor, made 9 of 18 three-pointers, went to the line nine more times than the opposition and committed just eight turnovers and still lost by 13 points, 113-100, in Orlando. Notorious Sixers-killer Ryan Anderson poured in 26 points and had 16 rebounds, while Jameer Nelson had 16 points and 13 assists as the Magic beat the Sixers for the third time this season. This time the Magic beat the Sixers without Dwight Howard, Big Baby Davis or Hedo Turkoglu and still were able to run the pick-and-roll at will.
The Pacers blasted Minnesota on Monday night, 111-88, for their fifth win in a row and ninth victory in their last 10 games. The Pacers are alos 18-14 on the road, good for fifth-best in the NBA, and have the best record in the NBA in April.
Losers of two in a row and six of their last eight games, hot is a relative term when it comes to the Sixers. However, if any player qualifies as hot, its Thad Young who has 64 points on 29 for 50 shooting with 22 rebounds.
The Sixers scored 100 points for the 17th time of the season on Monday night, but fell to 14-3 when doing so.
For the Pacers, Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert have been filling out the stat sheet thoroughly lately. For Hibbert, selected by the Raptors one pick after Marresse Speights in the 2008 draft, the big man has posted four straight double-doubles going for 58 points and 46 rebounds over that stretch. Hibbert also is fourth in the NBA in blocks.
Granger has scored 22.3 points per game over the last 12 in which the Pacers are 10-2.
If the Sixers, Bucks or Knicks are going to squeeze into those final two spots in the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Pacers will have something to say about it. Starting with Tuesday nights game, the Pacers play the Sixers twice and the Bucks in the next three. This season the Pacers are 3-1 against the Sixers and Bucks. The Sixers, meanwhile, play their final home game of the season on Tuesday before finishing up the season with five road games over the next nine days.
Obviously, with a two-game lead over the Bucks for the last spot in the playoffs and in a tie with the Knicks, wins are crucial for the Sixers.
Sixers have no new injuries to report.
Darren Collison (groin) played 19 minutes on Monday against Minnesota.
E-mail John R. Finger at email@example.com