NBA Previews from The Sports Network|
Thursday, March 26
(All times Eastern)
INDIANA PACERS (31-40) AT MILWAUKEE BUCKS (35-36), 8 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Milwaukee Bucks needed a desperation shot at the
buzzer to stop their losing streak and look to keep the momentum going
Thursday versus the Central-rival Indiana Pacers.
Milwaukee suffered a sixth straight loss and 13th in 16 tries with Sunday's
108-90 defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opener of a four-
game homestand. It rebounded with an 89-88 victory over the Miami Heat on
Tuesday, as Khris Middleton buried the game-winning shot as time expired.
Middleton's big 3-pointer capped an 18-3 Milwaukee rally. He finished with 13
points, while Ersan Ilyasova led the hosts with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 16 points and 10 boards, and Zaza Pachulia recorded
14 points and 11 boards for the Bucks, who shot 41.4 percent and improved to
20-14 at the Bradley Center.
"For the last two weeks we've been playing teams to one possession having the
ball, but we've just been unlucky," Bucks head coach Jason Kidd. "Today the
basketball gods were on our side and we got one to go in."
The Bucks had a 53-34 rebounding advantage and scored 24 points on 20 Miami
turnovers. The Bucks coughed up the ball as well with 21 turnovers, and swept
a four-game series with the Heat for the first time since the 1990-91 season.
Milwaukee is sixth in the Eastern Conference - two games ahead of Miami - and
will close the homestand Saturday versus NBA-best Golden State. The Bucks'
defense will be tested against the Warriors and it has held 24 opponents under
90 points this season, a league-best.
Much like the Bucks, Indiana ended a nagging six-game losing streak its last
time out with Wednesday's 103-101 triumph against the Washington Wizards at
the Verizon Center. The six-game slide followed seven wins in a row.
George Hill scored 12 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and made the go-
ahead layup with 2.7 seconds remaining, lifting Indiana to its first victory
since March 12 versus Milwaukee.
"Coming from San Antonio, I learned from a guy, Tony Parker, how to shoot
right foot, right-hand scoop layups, floaters, going across your body," Hill
said of his shot.
Hill made six of Indy's last seven field goals and his layup answered a game-
tying 3-pointer (101-101) by Wizards guard John Wall. Hill has scored 20 or
more points five times in the last seven games, averaging 22.0 ppg with 5.1
assists in that stretch.
C.J. Miles added 16 points, Solomon Hill scored 13 and David West contributed
10 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who shot 44.7 percent from the field
and survived a 34-point outburst by Wall.
The big win for the Pacers pulled them even with Boston for the eighth and
final playoff spot in the East. Brooklyn and Charlotte are only a half-game
off the pace.
Indiana has a 13-22 road record and will host Dallas Sunday night.
Pacers forward Paul George is getting back to playing shape after suffering a
gruesome right leg fracture last summer for Team USA. George is expected to
make his season debut soon and said after Monday's shootaround he doesn't know
when his return date will be.
"I wanted it to be March 14, but that obviously didn't happen," George told
reporters. "We're just being smart about the situation. When the time's ready,
I'll be back out there."
The Pacers are 2-1 against the Bucks this season and have won 13 of the past
16 games between the Central inhabitants. Indiana is unbeaten in three
straight trips to Brew City.
Milwaukee leads the overall series with Indiana, 92-82, including a 57-29
advantage at home.
03/26 07:05:06 ET