PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Myles Turner scored 25 points, including two clutch free throws with 21.5 seconds remaining, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 101-98 on Tuesday night in a possible Eastern Conference playoff preview.
Thaddeus Young added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the surprising Pacers (40-28), who overcame an off shooting night by leading scorer Victor Oladipo to win their third straight and improve to a season-high 12 games over .500. They were coming off a 99-97 victory at Boston on Sunday night.
Joel Embiid had 29 points and 12 rebounds and Ben Simmons finished with 10 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the 76ers (36-30), who had won 13 straight home games.
The Pacers and upstart 76ers could meet in the first round of the playoffs — and the game had some intensity reminiscent of a postseason matchup. Indiana entered third in the Eastern Conference, two games in front of sixth-place Philadelphia. The 76ers are aiming for their first postseason berth since 2012.
The Pacers looked ready to close it out when they had the ball with a three-point lead in the final seconds, but Oladipo committed an offensive foul in Indiana’s backcourt to give Philadelphia the ball. Embiid then had a tying 3-point attempt go off the front of the rim.
The Pacers led throughout the second half, but they had a hard time separating themselves from Philadelphia. A key sequence came with just under four minutes left when Trevor Booker blocked Embiid’s short jumper and Oladipo drained a 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 97-89 with 3:18 remaining.
Oladipo, who was averaging 23.8 points coming into the night, finished 11 points on 4-for-21 shooting, including 1 for 4 from 3-point range.
The Pacers lost Domantas Sabonis with just under two minutes left in the third quarter when Embiid tumbled into him while trying to grab a rebound. Sabonis limped to the locker room with the help of two teammates. Following a Pacers timeout, Embiid appeared to have words with Indiana coach Nate McMillan.
Embiid then picked up a technical with 44.2 seconds left in the period for shoving Lance Stephenson in the back after Stephenson converted a layup.
Earlier, Stephenson took exception to a hard foul by Simmons with 7:53 left in the second quarter, angrily getting up and pointing at Simmons.
Pacers: Booker, who averaged 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 33 games with the 76ers this season before signing with Indiana on March 3, had five points and six rebounds in 17 minutes. . Indiana has won 14 of its last 17 contests in Philadelphia.
76ers: Coach Brett Brown said before the game that no decision has been made on whether Markelle Fultz would play the remainder of the season. The top pick in the 2017 draft has played just four games due to right shoulder rehabilitation.
Pacers: Host Toronto on Thursday night.
76ers: At Knicks on Thursday night.