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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

NBA : Hawks-Pacers in Regular-Season Finale

NBA : Wednesday’s matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers will be the last game of the regular season for both clubs – and possibly the last game of the whole year for Indiana. They’re in seventh place in the Eastern Conference at press time, one game ahead of the pack with two remaining. The Hawks are safely in, but they could fall from fifth to seventh if Indiana beats them Wednesday night. Tip-off is at 8 PM ET on ESPN.

Indiana’s playoff future looked much dimmer last week, but the return of prodigal son Lance Stephenson has given the Pacers new life. Since signing with his former team on March 30, Stephenson has played a meaningful role in each of his four games, putting up 13.5 points, 5.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds per 36 minutes. Indiana went 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS during those games to vault back into playoff position.

The Hawks are also on a roll, winning four of their last six games straight up and against the spread to punch their ticket to the postseason. That includes back-to-back upsets over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Atlanta and Indiana split their other two regular-season games, so whoever wins Wednesday will have the tie-breaker if necessary.

Live odds and lines

NBA Odds: Last Chance for Pacers Versus Atlanta?

Depending on the results of Game No. 81, Wednesday’s regular-season finale (8 PM ET, ESPN) between the Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers could decide whether Indiana reaches the postseason. It could also give the Pacers a higher seed than Atlanta in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

While the Hawks are already in the postseason after back-to-back upset wins over the Cleveland Cavaliers, they could fall to seventh if they drop both their remaining games and Indiana goes 2-0. That would leave each team at 42-40, but the Pacers would own the tie-breaker after splitting their other two games with Atlanta.

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