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The streak is over. The Indiana Pacers snapped their five-game losing streak on Thursday night, beating the New Jersey Nets 93 - 86 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (the Nets now own an eight-game losing streak). The game was tied 50-50 at the half, and Pacers fans in attendance were more than a little nervous that the streak of losses would continue. Down by a point at the end of the third, they were downright panicky. But Danny Granger helped right the ship in the 4th quarter, igniting a late-rally that propelled the Pacers ahead of New Jersey for good.

Indiana is now 18-12, and second place in the Eastern Conference Central division behind the Chicago Bulls (25-7). They sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, but Philadelphia, Orlando, Atlanta, and Indy are all within a game of each other in the standings.

Pacers vs. Bobcats Tickets                   Pacers vs. Hornets Tickets

After the recent grueling stretch, which included road games against Dallas, Atlanta and Memphis, and home games against Orlando, Denver and Miami, the Pacers are enter the “easy” portion of their schedule. Next up is Sunday’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats, owners of  the worst record in the Eastern Conference, and that will be followed by  a game with the New Orleans Hornets, owners of the worst record in the Western Conference. Combined, the Bobcats and Hornets have combined for a 9 - 49 record on the year. Both games will be at home in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, making them “must-win” contests for the Pacers. After the Hornets game the Pacers will hit the road the next night for a game against … the Bobcats again. They then have five days off for NBA All Star festivities before wrapping up the month at home against the 11 - 15 Golden State Warriors.

As long as the Pacers play up to their capabilities and not down to their competition, they should be able to win all four of their remaining February game, which would give them 22 - 12 record with two months left in the regular season.

It’s time to start a different streak.

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