Even if they win their final two games, the Indiana Pacers will need a lot of help to get into the postseason.

The Pacers will be trying to keep their slim playoff hopes alive Monday when they visit Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards.

Indiana (35-45) trails Atlanta by two games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have two games remaining, meaning the Pacers must win both of theirs and have the Hawks lose out for them to make the postseason.

Indiana concludes the regular season Wednesday at home against New York, while Atlanta hosts Orlando on Tuesday and visits Miami on Wednesday.

"We've got to get the job done, both games," Pacers guard Flip Murray said. "It's down to that."

Indiana suffered a critical defeat Saturday, falling 107-103 to Charlotte, while the Hawks lost to Boston.

"We had the table set, and with Atlanta losing we just did not get it done," coach Jim O'Brien said. "We can only try to control what we can do, and that's to win at Washington Monday."

Danny Granger scored a career-high 37 points - including 17 in the fourth quarter while playing with five fouls - a day after scoring 30 in a win at Philadelphia. The Pacers had won four straight and 10 of 13.

"We had everything to play for, our (playoff) lives were on the line," Granger said. "When a game is that important, there's no reason we shouldn't win it, especially against a team that's already been eliminated."

Mike Dunleavy added 22 points and seven assists for Indiana, loser of four of its last six games against the Wizards (42-38) and three of four in Washington.

"It's frustrating," forward Jermaine O'Neal said. "To come up short on a night where Atlanta lost is probably something we're going to think about for the next couple days. There's not much more you can really say about it."

The Wizards have already clinched a spot in the playoffs and have won four of five, including Saturday's 109-93 victory over the 76ers. Arenas was a factor for the first time in five games after missing 66 with a knee injury, scoring 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter.

Arenas continued to come off the bench, but played 25 minutes, the most time he's seen since his return.

"It's a world of difference, man," said Wizards forward Antawn Jamison, who had 25 points and 13 rebounds. "You miss it. For him to come out there and play the way he did says volumes about how much he means to this team. I'm glad that we're getting him this time of the season going into the playoffs. He makes us go."

Arenas has averaged 26.5 points in 17 games against the Pacers and 34.8 in his last four.

Forward Caron Butler missed Saturday's game with a bruised right knee and is day-to-day. The Wizards are 9-13 without him this season.


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