104
77

Friday, November 15, 2013 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Game Rewind: Pacers 104, Bucks 77

Scott Agness | November 15, 2013

Game Recap

The Pacers showed no signs of easing up following three days between games. On the front end of their fourth back-to-back of the season, the Pacers disposed of the undermanned Milwaukee Bucks Friday night 104-77 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Roy Hibbert was “sensational,” as Pacers coach Frank Vogel put it, just two blocks shy of his second career triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight stuffs. The Pacers took the first of four division meetings against the Bucks, losers of four straight. With the win, the Pacers’ nine-game streak is their longest in NBA franchise history.

The key for the game, and what they had worked on during practice the previous two days, was defending the 3-point line. After they gave up two quick ones to O.J. Mayo, coach Frank Vogel immediately called timeout to get that straightened out. Roy Hibbert had his way on the post, scoring 10 points and swatting away four shots in the first period alone. The Pacers shot 59 percent in the first frame and led 31-21.

While the Bucks shot a dismal 27 percent from the field in the second, the Pacers added to their lead. The Blue and Gold closed the half on a 13-5 run to head into the locker room with a 15-point advantage.

The Pacers saw their lead dwindle to six after the Bucks scored nine unanswered to begin the third stanza. Paul George, who had just five points through two quarters, responded with three straight field goals and 10 in the period to elevate their lead back to double digits. His mid-range game has improved this season, in part because he worked often with a shooting coach in Los Angeles over the summer. Though the Bucks were the first team in nine games to score more points in the third, 24-23, the Pacers still had a comfortable cushion.

Hibbert was in rhythm all night, even requesting to stay on the floor when he saw Ian Mahinmi at the scorer’s table. Vogel abided. “Some nights, you’re just feeling it,” Hibbert said after the game and this was one of those nights. He wound up so close to another triple-double, but he didn’t want to force things.

Eventually, with 2:51 left in the game, Vogel subbed in for Hibbert since the game was well in hand and knowing they have to play in Chicago in less than 24 hours. Chris Copeland played in the final minutes and buried both of his attempts from outside, putting a smile of relief on his face. Reserve Orlando Johnson provided the exclamation point on the night with a rebound-slam, as the Pacers topped the century mark for the first time of the season and dropped the Bucks by 27.

Inside the Numbers

Roy Hibbert’s near triple-double looked like this: a season high 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting, 8-for-8 at the foul line, 10 rebounds, and eight blocked shots, another season high, in 31 minutes.

After being 2-for-5 in the first half, Paul George scored 17 of his 22 in the second to extend his streak of games with at least 20 points to nine. George Hill tallied nine points and he handed out a team-high five assists. Luis Scola added eight points and a season-high seven rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench.

O.J. Mayo paced the Bucks with 20 points. Khris Middleton and Gary Neal both contributed 11. Zaza Pachulia grabbed 11 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end, but he was just 2-for-14 from the field.

Indiana is one of just 18 teams in NBA history to open its season 9-0, and the first since the Dallas Mavericks won their first 14 games in 2002-03.

Quotable

“Our bench has been solid all year. Luis Scola is one of the best power forwards in the NBA, forget bench guys and starter guys. He’s one of the best power forwards in the NBA. If we didn’t have David West here, he’d be playing 35 minutes a game – he’s that good of player.” – Frank Vogel

“I really want to be the best 3-point defense in the NBA. We’re giving up unnecessary 3s to great shooters so sometimes you have to call timeouts to send your message.” – Vogel

“Roy Hibbert was sensational. Obviously, proving night in and night out that he’s the best rim protector in the game. Just a clear frontrunner for the best defensive player of the game.” – Vogel

“Our probability of winning a game should be 100 percent when Roy’s playing at that level, offensively he’s a load and defensively still remaining the best defensive big in this league.” – Paul George on Roy Hibbert

“I never try to force things. A triple-double would’ve been great. One of those times where everything was going to line up, the stars, the moon, sun, everything is going to line up when you have one of those. I’ve seen guys force triple-double and that just makes you look selfish.” – Roy Hibbert

“That team’s playing really well. They played extremely, extremely well. They’re getting it from their starters. They’re getting it from their bench guys.” – Bucks coach Larry Drew

Stat of the Game

The Pacers shot a blistering 51 percent while holding the Bucks to 34 percent.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won eight of their last ten contests with the Bucks, including the last three.
  • Paul George and Khris Middleton each received a technical foul in the third quarter.
  • Pacers President Larry Bird presented George Hill with the NBA’s Kia Community Assist award for the month of October pregame.
  • Danny Granger remains out with a sore left calf. Vogel hopes he can return to practice next week.

Up Next

The Pacers travel to Chicago to try for 10-0 against the rival Bulls. Saturday's game tips at 8:00 PM EST at the United Center. Game Preview »

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