Saturday, April 14 at Milwaukee
Game Rewind: Pacers 105, Bucks 99
Roy Hibbert racked up 23 points and 14 rebounds and made six huge free throws down the stretch as the Pacers held off the Bucks 105-99 Saturday in the Bradley Center.
A 3-pointer by Milwaukee's Mike Dunleavy cut the Pacers' lead to 99-96 with 4:01 remaining and as both teams struggled for buckets, Hibbert hit the offensive boards and drew fouls, twice converting both free throws to push the advantage to 103-96 with 14.9 seconds left. Monta Ellis hit Milwaukee's only bucket of the final four minutes, a 3-pointer that cut it to 103-99, but Hibbert again made a pair to seal the verdict.
The Pacers won their fourth straight game and eighth in nine in April to improve to 38-22 overall and maintain their hold on third place in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket. The Bucks lost their third in a row at home and fell to 29-31. The loss was a major blow to their hopes of catching New York or Philadelphia for the final playoff berth in the East.
BY THE NUMBERS
Danny Granger scored 21 with seven rebounds and three assists as seven Pacers scored in double figures. George Hill started his fourth straight game at the point and scored 13 with three assits and one turnover. David West and Paul George had 10 points and seven rebounds apiece, while Tyler Hansbrough and Leandro Barbosa each scored 10 off the bench. The Pacers shot 40 percent but pulled 19 offensive rebounds and outscored the Bucks 24-16 from the free-throw line.
Ellis led the Bucks with 20 points, adding five reobunds and four assists. Brandon Jennings had 16 points and 10 assists. Carlos Delfino had 14, Dunleavy 13 and Ersan Ilyasova 11 as the Bucks shot 44 percent.
A pair of 3-pointers from Barbosa gave the Pacers much-needed breathing room early in the fourth quarter as they opened a 90-82 lead with nine minutes left. Ellis hit a 3-pointer and a layup in a 7-0 run as the Bucks cut it to one and it remained close the rest of the way.
The third quarter was a battle of Milwaukee's outside shooting and Indiana's inside power and the Pacers got the better of it for most of the period, leading 80-71 into the final moments but the Bucks scored the final seven of the period, capped by a Dunleavy 3-pointer, to cut the lead to 80-78 entering the fourth quarter. The Pacers shot just 7 of 26 in the period but pulled 15 rebounds to create multiple second-shot opportunities, while the Bucks had four of five from the arc.
In a first half of punches and counterpunches, the Pacers landed the final blow and led 59-48 at the break. With Granger and Hibbert coming out hot, the Pacers jumped to a 24-18 first-quarter lead, but the Bucks came back to tie it at 27. With a three-point play by Dahntay Jones and a 3-pointer from A.J. Price, the Pacers opened a 37-30 lead early in the second quarter, but the Bucks answered behind Ilyasova to tie it at 39-all.
The Pacers then put together their best stretch of the half, holding the Bucks without a basket for more than four minutes while George -- scoreless for the first time all season Friday night against Cleveland -- finally broke his drought with eight points in a 15-2 run that put Indiana ahead 54-41 and it was 59-48 at the break.
The Pacers scored at least 100 points for the fourth consecutive game and ninth in the last 10. ... They also extended their defensive streak of sub-100-point games to seven, the second-longest active streak in the league. ... There were two sets of double technical fouls in the final minutes as Hibbert and Larry Sanders went chest-to-chest with 1:58 remaining, while Granger and Jennings exchanged words with 10 seconds to go. ... West was given a type-one flagrant foul for above-the-shoulder contact to Milwaukee's Mike Dunleavy on a drive to the basket with 7:55 left in the second quarter. ... Hill started his fourth game in a row as regular point guard Darren Collison remained sidelined by a sore groin. ... Milwaukee was without center Kwame Brown (torn pectoral muscle).
The Pacers return home to face the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). Already without star rookie point guard Ricky Rubio, out for the season with a knee injury, the T-Wolves may also be missing power forward Kevin Love, who missed Saturday's game against Oklahoma City with concussion-like symptoms after taking an elbow to the head Wednesday against Denver.