NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, January 5th
(All times Eastern)
Milwaukee Bucks (16-15) at Indiana Pacers (19-14), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Milwaukee Bucks will try to end a three-game slide on
Saturday night when they visit Central Division rivals, the Indiana
The Bucks' woes started on Sunday with a road loss to the suddenly hot Detroit
Pistons, but things got worse after New Year's Day. Milwaukee couldn't fend
off a Texas invasion at home, losing 117-110 to the San Antonio Spurs on
Wednesday before falling 115-101 to the Houston Rockets on Friday.
The Bucks took an 11-point lead into the locker room against the Rockets, then
were blown out in the second half. Milwaukee was outscored 68-43 over the
final two frames.
"The second half, they blew right by us," said Bucks head coach Scott Skiles.
Seven Bucks scored in double figures on Friday night, led by 16 from Brandon
Jennings. Defensively, the Bucks struggled, allowing Houston to shoot 54.2
percent from the field.
But the most staggering number of the night was the 25 turnovers from the
"The turnovers were unbelievable," said Skiles.
The Pacers weren't much better than Milwaukee was on Friday night. Indiana
fell to the Boston Celtics, 94-75 in Boston. The 75 points marked the lowest
output for the Pacers since a 74-72 loss at home to the Toronto Raptors on
Boston held the Pacers to a season-low 31.8 percent field-goal shooting.
"I give credit to Boston's defense and bouncing back out of their slump," said
Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "We knew it was going to be a tough game. We knew
they got championship level people over there with great pride and great
experience, great know how. And you know it was only a matter of time before
their defense bounced back, and it bounced back in a big way tonight."
The Celtics came out physical and the Pacers couldn't really match that. Kevin
Garnett was ejected after an ugly foul on Tyler Hansbrough, who was Indiana's
leading scorer with 19.
David West was the only starter in double figures with 10 points. George Hill
and Sam Young both missed the game with injury and their availability for
Saturday night is in question.
The Pacers, who rank second to last in opponents' scoring in the NBA, begin a
huge four-game homestand on Saturday night. After the Bucks, the Pacers
welcome the Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats to Bankers Life
This is the third meeting of the season for the Pacers, the Central Division
co-leaders. The Bucks, who are two games back of Indiana and the Chicago
Bulls, won the first two matchups, both in Milwaukee.
01/05 10:24:10 ET