INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 4 (Ticker) -- Hours after putting his money where his mouth was, Jermaine O'Neal put the ball where the basket was.

O'Neal scored a career-high 55 points as the Indiana Pacers posted a 116-99 triumph over the Milwaukee Bucks.

NBA TV highlights from
Prior to the game, O'Neal was one of seven of agent Arn Tellem's clients to pledge a charitable contribution to victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. As part of the donation, O'Neal will give $1,000 for every point he scores Thursday against San Antonio.

"We didn't have time to get things set up today," O'Neal said. "I wish we could have, after the game I had. But, for Thursday's game, I will donate $1,000 for every point I score. It is such a devastating scene over there, and no one ever wants to have to go through that. It really helps you realize how blessed you are."

O'Neal's contribution total Tuesday would have been rather significant as he set an NBA season high and came within two points of the team record. Reggie Miller, who was one of the players trying to get O'Neal the ball late in the game, holds the record with 57 points against Charlotte on Nov. 28, 1992.

"I didn't know how close I was until someone told me," said O'Neal, who missed 15 games earlier this season for his role in a brawl with the Detroit Pistons on Nov. 19. "My focus was to help the team win and if it meant scoring a lot of points, that is what I would do."

"I was asked how many games it took me to score 55," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "That's more than a quarter of the points I scored in my career. I'm really happy for our fans to see something special like they saw tonight."

O'Neal scored 19 points through one quarter and had 29 at the half. With 47 through three quarters, he had the record in his sights but pulled himself from the game with 1:43 to go and the Pacers comfortably ahead.

"To his credit, Jermaine felt it was the right thing to come out of the game and not go for the record," Carlisle said. "I was pleased he asked out, it was classy."

"He really got it going early," Bucks coach Terry Porter said. "He got himself into a groove and it just became really hard to stop him."

O'Neal did take one shot at tying the record -- a 20-footer that clanged off the rim.

"Reggie was standing behind me and encouraging me to shoot it," O'Neal said. "I did, but I missed it."

"I'm very happy for him," Miller said. "He should have had 60. He really didn't force any of his shots."

Philadelphia's Allen Iverson had 54 points against the Bucks on Dec. 18.

O'Neal, who was 18-of-28 from the field and 19-of-25 from the line, missed the Pacers two previous meetings with Milwaukee this season -- both Pacers' losses.

"We couldn't do anything with him," Bucks guard Erick Strickland said. "We tried a bunch of stuff ... we just couldn't find anything to stop him. We did not have an answer for him."

Behind O'Neal's dominance, Indiana ran its winning streak to a season-high four games. The Pacers' point total also was a season high and they are 11-1 when scoring at least 100 points this season.

Desmond Mason scored 21 points and Michael Redd