INDIANAPOLIS -- They've stopped short of guaranteeing wins, but the Indiana Pacers remain supremely confident they can beat the top-seeded Bulls in their NBA playoff series.
The Pacers led Game 1 by 10 points with 3 ½ minutes remaining before losing by five points. They held five two-point leads early in the fourth quarter of Game 2, but lost by six points. Their 2-0 deficit heading into Thursday's matchup at Conseco Fieldhouse forces them to confront history, because no team has overcome a 3-0 deficit to win an NBA playoff series.
"We don't plan on losing this one," Pacers center Roy Hibbert said following Wednesday's practice at the fieldhouse. "Each game we want to come out even hungrier and more determined to get a win. Every game we're learning to hate Chicago even more, so we're trying to get that steam building up for [Thursday].
"We're really amped up for this game. We're boiling inside. We're going to play hard and physical."
The Pacers are the only team in the playoffs with a losing record, although they've had a winning record since interim coach Frank Vogel replaced Jim O'Brien on Jan. 30. They've surprised a lot people throughout the NBA by the way they've battled the Bulls so far, but Hibbert isn't satisfied with compliments.
"A lot of people say we're doing a good job, but we want to come out with a win," he said.
"It's like when you tell your kid he did a good job and give him a pat on the back. We don't want to be that little kid. We want to be big boys, you know? We want to get some wins. We're not satisfied."
Thursday's game has yet to sell out, but local television reporters did their best on Wednesday to elicit comments to arouse the fans.
"It's going to be mayhem, it's going to be crazy, it's going to be awesome, it's going to be the way Conseco Fieldhouse was meant to be," coach Frank Vogel said.