The Indiana Pacers defeated the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night 104-89 to stay within the NBA Playoff picture. The important win kept the Pacers within the top eight of the Eastern Conference standings. The loss didn't hurt Milwaukee but certainly made things interesting near the bottom half of the East's standings with the playoff chase heating up down the stretch. Here's a look at how Paul George and the Indiana Pacers got the win against the "Greek Freak" and his Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday evening.

How the Pacers got the win

Indiana's All-Star Paul George led the way with 23 points at home in tonight's victory.

George shot 9-for-14 from the floor, pulled down ten rebounds and also recorded four steals and an assist. Teammate Thaddeus Young added a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards, while Jeff Teague had 15 points and seven assists. The Pacers shot 47.5 percent field goals as a team and out-rebounded Milwaukee 44-32 for the game. The team was ahead at the half and never trailed after.

The Milwaukee Bucks received another good outing from their All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo. The "Greek Freak" had 25 points on 7-for-14 shooting and hit 11-of-13 free throws to go with seven rebounds, six assists, and a block. However, he only had two other teammates in double-digit scoring as Kris Middleton finished with 10 and Mirza Teletovic with 15 points.

The Bucks didn't shoot poorly, hitting at a rate of 46.5 percent, but they trailed 56-50 at the half and could never really come back. Down 12 to start the fourth quarter, Milwaukee was unable to get the lead under 10, as the Pacers pulled away in control.

NBA standings & what's next

The victory moved Indiana's NBA record to 39-40 with just three games left on the schedule.

They're currently at the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference and have an identical record to the No. 7 seed Chicago Bulls. The Miami Heat are 38-40 and right within striking distance of both teams. Next up for the Pacers is a Saturday night road game against the Orlando Magic starting at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

The Milwaukee Bucks are now 40-39 overall and have the No. 6 seed in the East if the playoffs began today. They're about a game or so behind the Atlanta Hawks for the No. 5 seed, and of course just treading water above Chicago, Indiana and the Miami Heat teams vying for playoff spots. The Bucks will take on the 76ers in Philadelphia on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

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