Saturday, March 24 at Milwaukee
Game Rewind: Pacers 125, Bucks 104
Acquiring Monta Ellis ultimately may prove to be the move that propels Milwaukee into the playoffs but Saturday night it worked against the Bucks.
Though they are much more explosive on the perimeter, the trade of center Andrew Bogut to Golden State left the Bucks vulnerable inside and the bigger, stronger Pacers exploited that to full advantage in a 125-104 rout in the Bradley Center in a matchup of two teams playing the final night of back-to-back-to-back sets.
Roy Hibbert had 16 points and David West 15 -- and neither played in the fourth quarter -- as the Pacers took momentum late in the first half and blew it open in the third quarter, posting a season-high point total.
The Pacers, who won two of three in their tripleheader, improved to 28-19. The Bucks, who lost two of three, fell to 22-26.
BY THE NUMBERS
George Hill came off the bench to score a season-high 24, hitting 7-of-9 overall and 3-of-4 from the 3-point line, to lead the second unit to a season high of 67 points. Hibbert, who traditionally struggled against Bogut, had no such problems, hitting 7-of-11 shots, pulling nine rebounds and blocking three shots in 25 minutes. West played 21 minutes, hit 6-of-14 shots and pulled seven rebounds. Danny Granger also went to work inside, scoring nine of his 15 from the free-throw line and adding seven rebounds. Dahntay Jones scored 13. The Pacers shot 51 percent and outrebounded the Bucks 49-37.
Ersan Ilyasova led Milwaukee with 22 points and eight rebounds. Carlos Delfino scored 13 with seven boards. The dynamic backcourt of Ellis and Brandon Jennings combined to produce 23 points on 9-of-25 shooting. Ellis -- who scored nine of his points in the first quarter, added six assists, while Jennings had five. Milwaukee shot 44 percent.
"Our guys really stepped up and competed at a high level. They were a disgruntled group after losing the game last night. We thought that we should have won (last night). We knew we had to get it back (tonight). Playing against a team that’s playing terrific basketball, we really defended at a high level. We really got going on the inside, particularly with West and Hibbert." - Pacers Coach Frank Vogel
“Coach always has this mindset of we (the starters) warm them up, then the bench comes in and knocks them down a bit. It’s a tag-team action right there. I think a lot of us are extremely tired tonight, but we sucked it up and played. It was a masterpiece. It was like artwork. It was beautiful to watch from the bench, in terms of how they moved the ball, pushed the pace. The second group is a lot different than the first group. We (the starters) have a lot more size and they (the reserves) have a lot more speed. They’re able to switch everything and get on the break." - Hibbert
“Everybody tells me I’m too hard on myself. I had 0 points yesterday. I was 0-for-5 or 0-for-6, something like that. I knew it was shots that I normally hit. It just doesn’t go my way sometimes. Sometimes you live by the shot, sometimes you die by the shot. Last night I died, today I lived.” - Hill
STAT OF THE GAME
The previous six meetings between the Pacers and Bucks were decided by a total of 19 points. Indiana more than doubled that with a 21-point victory.
Much like Friday night against Phoenix, the first half was close most of the way with 14 lead changes and three ties until the closing minutes of the second period. That's when Indiana's first unit put together a 13-3 run to close the half with the biggest lead of the game to that point, 57-48. West, who scored 13 in the half, had five in the run.
Milwaukee hung around as long as the 3-pointers fell but once they missed a couple, the Pacers pounced, using their size and strength advantages inside to construct a 25-10 run that blew it open, pushing the lead to 92-71 late in the quarter. Hibbert got things started with his work inside and Hill had three 3-pointers.
Mike Dunleavy committed a flagrant foul (type 1) against former teammate Tyler Hansbrough, elbowing the Indiana forward as he drove to the hoop in the fourth quarter. Less than a minute later, Hansbrough and Dunleavy exchanged words, with each picking up a technical foul. … Jennings heaved in a 42-foot 3-pointer at the third quarter buzzer to cut Indiana's lead to 92-76 but the Pacers scored the first five of the fourth quarter to eliminate any thoughts of a comeback. … The newest Pacer did not make the trip. Kyrylo Fesenko, the 7-1 center from Ukraine signed Friday before the 113-111 loss to Phoenix, remained in Indianapolis but is expected to join the team for Monday's game against Miami.
Playing their fourth game in five nights, the Pacers face the mighty Miami Heat Monday in Bankers Life Fieldhouse (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). The Pacers are looking for their first victory over LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Co., having dropped all three meetings this season. The first two were blowouts but the most recent, March 10 in Miami, went down to the wire but the Pacers couldn't protect a lead late in regulation and wound up losing 93-91 in overtime.