Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 8:30 PM ET at the BMO Harris Bradley Center
Game Rewind: Pacers 110, Bucks 98
Jeff Tzucker | February 22, 2014
The Bucks may have the worst record in the league, but the energy and effort they gave should serve as a reminder to the Pacers that every team is gunning for them. Every team wants to measure itself against the Pacers. And for some teams like the Bucks, getting a win against the Pacers might be the highlight of the season.
So, while the Pacers never trailed in this game--leading by as many as 22 at one point--the game was much closer than that stat indicates.
After the Pacers dominated early, taking a 44-22 lead midway through the second quarter, the Bucks went on a 9-0 run and outscored the Pacers by 20 points over the next 12 minutes of play to cut the Pacers lead to 60-58 halfway through the third quarter. The Pacers would bounce back and push the lead back to seven, 75-68, heading to the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Pacers quickly extended the lead to 82-68 on seven straight points by Lance Stephenson, but the Bucks wouldn't go away. They kept it close, cutting the lead to as close as seven with one minute remaining. David West then came through once again with a big 18-footer with a minute remaining to effectively seal the game.
Final score: 110-100, Pacers.
Paul George and David West led the Pacers with 32 points and 30 points, respectively. It is the just the second time this season the Pacers had two players score more than 30 in the same game.
Lance Stephenson once again flirted with a triple-double, going for 24 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. He also had no turnovers.
As a team, the Pacers shot 45% from the floor, including 9-18 from 3-point range and turned the ball over just nine times. On the defensive end, the Pacers held the Bucks to just 42% shooting and out-rebounded them 40-37.
The Pacers improved to 42-13 on the season while the Bucks dropped to 10-45.
Stat of the Game
West, George, and Stephenson combined for 86 of the Pacers' 110 points.
Inside the Numbers
Roy Hibbert and George Hill both struggled from the field, combining for just four points on 1-12 shooting.
Hill was held scoreless for the first time since January 8, 2013 versus Miami.
Rasual Butler saw increased playing time (22 minutes) while the team awaits the arrival of Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. Butler scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds.
The Pacers shot 40 free throws and hit 29 for a 73% clip.
It was the second time this season that two Pacers players both scored more than 30 points in a game (George 32, West 30). The other time was February 7 versus Portland, where West had 30 points and Hill went for 37.
West, George, and Stephenson combined to shoot 28-47 (59.6%) on field goals.
“No question they fought us. You have to give coach [Larry] Drew credit for getting his guys to still play hard despite their circumstances. They made a lot of big shots in the second half.” - Frank Vogel on fighting off the Bucks after the big early lead
“He has been a good player for us all year. I’m still surprised that he wasn’t in the league last year, as he was in the D-League. He just plays with youth, even though he is one of the older guys. He plays with a bounce to his step and has great shot-making ability. He has a veteran mind so I always feel confident we are going to get a good lift from him.” - Coach Vogel on Rasual Butler
“Our focus wasn’t where it should be. But again, I thought we made enough plays down the stretch to win the game. They came out hot in the third quarter, making shots. They had us on our heels for a hot second.” - David West on the team's focus
“We attacked the basket, we attacked the paint, and we knocked down our free throws. That’s very important for a veteran team like us. We’ve been there before. We’ve gotten up big, we’ve gotten down big. We always keep playing.” - Roy Hibbert on the team's offensive game
“I thought we had opportunity but we didn’t capitalize. When it was a four or five point game and we had a couple time outs left, we just didn’t execute very well. Right when I thought the game was in striking distance, we would lose it again. Defensively, we just had breakdown after breakdown. Against good ball clubs, you can’t make those types of mistakes. Indiana will make you pay for those types of mistakes and they certainly did with us.” - Bucks head coach Larry Drew on the fourth quarter
- With tonight’s win, the Pacers now sit a full two games up on Miami for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and trail Oklahoma City by just a half game for the top record in the league. The Pacers still have two games remaining against the Heat (3/26 and 4/11) and one against the Thunder (4/13).
- Indiana has now won four consecutive meetings against Milwaukee, and nine of the last 11. Prior to the current run, the Bucks had won six straight matchups with the Pacers from 12/21/09 through 12/8/10.
- David West (30 points) matched his season high (also 30 on Feb. 7 vs. Portland) and recorded his ninth game with 20+ points this season, with Indiana now 8-1 on those nights.