NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 14th (All times eastern)
Indiana Pacers (21-44) at Milwaukee Bucks (35-29), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The red-hot Milwaukee Bucks continue their push to the postseason Sunday when they attempt to sweep Central Division rival Indiana for the first time in nearly 30 years.
The Bucks have already beaten the Pacers three times this season and a win this afternoon would give them a series sweep for the first time since the 1981-82 season, when they were 6-0 against Indiana.
Most recently Milwaukee continued an impressive homestand with a 95-87 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday. John Salmons scored 24 points and hit a pair of important free throws with less than 20 seconds to go in that one.
Salmons continued to provide a spark for Milwaukee, which is 11-1 with him in the lineup since his acquisition at the trade deadline. The Bucks improved to 3-0 on their four-game homestand, having beaten contenders Cleveland, Boston and Utah in succession on the stretch. The team has also won five straight overall.
Brandon Jennings added 23 points, and Andrew Bogut contributed with 16 points and 12 boards. Eryan Ilyasova provided 14 points in the impressive victory, as the Bucks exceeded last season's win total with their 35th win and moved a season-high six games over .500.
"Utah's not an easy team to beat. You have to bring your "A" game," Jennings said. "They got the lead, and it was kind of back-and-forth, and we got some good stops at the end of the game. We played three teams that are great playoff teams; to come in here and beat them, that's pretty big."
The Pacers, meanwhile, are just playing out the string and lost for the fifth time in six games on Friday when Paul Pierce scored 20 to lead a balanced attack, and the Boston Celtics got back to their winning ways with a 122-103 rout of Indiana.
Roy Hibbert was the leading scorer for the Pacers with 23. Troy Murphy added 17 points and 10 boards, while Danny Granger returned from a one-game suspension to score 16 in defeat.
"They have too many weapons for us," Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien said of the Celtics. "They played well. They shot the basketball well. We could never get our break gone because they shot over 60 percent of the first half. So, I think that was the difference in the game."
03/14 10:31:33 ET