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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, February 11th (All times eastern)

Indiana Pacers (21-32) at Milwaukee Bucks (25-29), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of teams coming off uplifting victories will square off tonight at Milwaukee's Bradley Center, where the injury-plagued Bucks entertain the Indiana Pacers in a Central Division clash.

Despite being without three key players in shooting guard Michael Redd, center Andrew Bogut and point guard Luke Ridnour, Milwaukee still came through with a much-needed 124-112 win over the Houston Rockets Monday at the Bradley Center.

Ramon Sessions stepped up for the shorthanded Bucks with 26 points and seven assists, while Richard Jefferson and Charlie Villanueva each netted 25 points to help Milwaukee halt a two-game losing streak.

Sessions has taken over the point with Ridnour sidelined indefinitely with a broken thumb and is averaging a stellar 27.3 points and 8.0 assists over the last four games, including a career-high 44 in an overtime loss to Detroit last Saturday.

Redd, Milwaukee's leading scorer with an average of 21.2 points per game, is out for the season with a torn ACL. Bogut has sat out 11 of the team's last 13 outings with a stress fracture in his lower back and isn't expected to return anytime soon.

Monday's victory vaulted the Bucks into eighth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race, one half-game in front of New Jersey.

Although the Pacers lurk far behind in the playoff picture, they've posted wins over a pair of division leaders over a recent three-game span. On Tuesday, Indiana downed the powerhouse Cleveland Cavaliers with a controversial 96-95 decision at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Danny Granger hit two free throws after being fouled by the Cavs' LeBron James with 0.1 seconds remaining for the winning points as the Pacers ended a string of nine straight losses to Cleveland.

Troy Murphy amassed 18 points and 15 rebounds for Indiana, which defeated Southeast Division leader Orlando this past Friday, while Granger ended with 16 points on the night.

The Pacers are 9-2 in their last 11 home games, but the club has dropped eight in a row away from Conseco Fieldhouse and is a poor 6-21 on the road this season. Indiana has not won as the visitor since a 113-110 victory at Phoenix on January 7.

Indiana has taken eight of its last 10 meetings with the Bucks, however, although Milwaukee defeated the Pacers at the Bradley Center by a 121-103 score back in December.

02/11 10:36:59 ET


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