INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 7 (Ticker) -- Michael Redd
had an answer for
Redd scored nine of his 28 points in the final 75 seconds as the
Milwaukee Bucks survived a fourth-quarter outburst by Miller
and edged the struggling Indiana Pacers, 89-86, for their first
road win of the season.
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"Reggie is such a great player and I have so much respect for
him," Redd said. "But our team played a great game and we
didn't let his run affect us. We made some big plays and this
was a big win on the road."
The Bucks, who had lost their first seven road games, had
squandered an 11-point lead in the final period as they were
caught by the Pacers at 80-80 in the final two minutes.
Redd gave the Bucks the lead for good with two free throws at
the 1:15 mark and -- after Indiana's Austin Croshere
layups -- drilled a foul line jumper for an 84-80 advantage with
32 seconds to play.
Miller, who scored 19 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter,
answered with a tough 3-pointer off an inbounds pass just three
seconds later. But Redd -- who had missed his first five
3-pointers -- calmly drained one from the top of the arc for an
87-83 edge with seven seconds left.
"That's what I feel I can do ... what I have to do for my team,"
Redd said. "I live for those type of situations. When the
game is tight and you need a big shot ... I think any great
player wants that shot."
The Pacers weren't done. Fred Jones
made a deep 3-pointer to
make it a one-point game with 4.1 seconds left, then fouled
Redd, who sank two free throws with 2.6 seconds to go. A wide
open 3-pointer by Anthony Johnson
bounced off the back rim at
the buzzer, sending Indiana to its fifth straight setback.
An All-Star for the first time last season, Redd has supplanted
Miller as one of the best pure shooting guards in the Eastern
Conference. He made 10-of-21 shots in this one.
"Reggie is the king, man. He's been doing this for 18 years."
said Redd, whose free-throw shooting and clutch long-range
skills mirror Miller's. "I've just been in the league for five.
To be compared to him is a real honor."
However, the 39-year-old Miller does not look like he's going
anywhere. He made 11-of-18 shots -- including 4-of-7 from the
arc -- and has led the Pacers in scoring in both games since
returning from the injured list.
"I don't think of him as a 39-year-old guy," Croshere said. "I
find it hard to believe that he isn't capable of playing 30
minutes or more a night. He's still one of the best in the
league at what he does. Redd, Ray Allen
, Rip Hamilton
have the same style, but Reggie has done so much in big playoff
Miller was in no mood to talk about heroics after a loss.
"I'm going to give what I can give," Miller said. "These guys
have played without me for the first month and I want to give
them everything I've got. We're just waiting for the cavalry to
get here. I don't care if I have to play 45 minutes a game.
I'm just playing basketball.
"Maybe there was a little pent-up energy. You stand over on the
bench and watch and you just want to help."
scored 21 points for the Bucks, who were off to
their worst start on the road since losing a franchise-record 16
straight road games to start the 1976-77 season.
The player shuffle continued for the Pacers, who have lost five
in a row and are starting to feel the effects of the mass
suspensions. Forward Jeff Foster
had nine points and six
rebounds in his season debut, but guard Jamaal Tinsley
with a sprained right ankle.
The Pacers trailed 71-61 before Miller caught fire. He made a
pair of jumpers, then answered a basket by Joe Smith
free throws and a 3-pointer. Croshere's two foul shots cut the
deficit to 73-72 with 4:35 left.
Baskets by Mason and Maurice Williams
gave the Bucks a 79-75
before Miller sank another 3-pointer. After a free throw by
Mason, Miller hit a step-back jumper to tie it at the 1:35 mark.
"Reggie is phenomenal," Carlisle added. "He's shown signs of
the old Reggie, but we can't go on a steady diet of playing him
39 minutes. Tonight, we had no choice."