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(Friday, November 15th)
Final Score: Indiana 104, Milwaukee 77
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers weren't about to let the depleted and struggling Milwaukee Bucks get back into the game early in the second half.
Roy Hibbert made sure of it.
Hibbert had 24 points, eight blocks and 10 rebounds as the Pacers remained unbeaten following a 104-77 triumph over the Bucks.
Indiana is the first NBA team to start 9-0 since the 2002-03 Dallas Mavericks, who began the campaign with 14 straight victories.
Hibbert was 8-of-10 from the field and sunk all eight of his foul shots, while Paul George added 22 points in the victory.
"Our probability of winning a game should be 100 percent when Roy (Hibbert) is playing at that level," George said.
O.J. Mayo netted 20 points to lead Milwaukee, which has dropped four straight and five of its last six.
The Bucks were without starting point guard Brandon Knight, starting power forward Ersan Ilyasova and bench player Caron Butler. Zaza Pachulia and Gary Neal both returned from foot injuries, but Pachulia had just four points on 2- of-14 shooting, while Neal chipped in 11 points.
"We have to learn how to deal with it, we have to learn how to handle it and we have to move on from it," Bucks head coach Larry Drew said of the injuries. "At some point, we'll get our guys back and we'll really get a chance to see what we have."
The Pacers led 31-21 after a quarter of play and by as many as 16 in the first half before taking a 52-37 advantage into the locker room. Nate Wolters, though, capped a 9-0 Milwaukee flurry with a layup to start the third quarter and pull the Bucks within 52-46.
Hibbert and Indiana answered a bit later in the frame. Hibbert converted a pair of three-point plays during a 10-2 spurt to match the largest lead of the game at 71-55.
Indiana took a 75-61 cushion into the fourth, where the hosts cruised to the easy win.
The Pacers' largest lead was the final score ... Lance Stephenson had 11 points for Indiana ... Indiana shot 50.6 percent (40-of-79) from the floor, while Milwaukee was just 34.1 percent (30-of-88) from the field.
11/15 23:42:56 ET
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