Pacers top Bucks to stay alive in playoff hunt
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) – Mike Dunleavy poured in 25 points, and the
struggling Indiana Pacers stayed alive in the hunt for the eighth playoff spot
in the Eastern Conference with a 104-98 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Danny Granger scored 18 points and tallied 10 assists for the Pacers, who have
gone 4-6 in their last 10 games, but pulled to within one game of the Orlando
Magic for the last playoff spot in the East. Orlando fell to Detroit on
Wednesday. Darrell Armstrong and Jermaine O’Neal had 16 points each for the
Pacers, and O’Neal added nine rebounds.
Maurice Williams scored 23 points for the Bucks, who have lost four straight
and 11 of 12. Dan Gadzuric had a season-high 18 points and 13 rebounds, and
David Noel had a career-high 18 points as well.
“It felt pretty good,” said Noel. “I was able to find a rhythm.”
A Noel three with 31.2 seconds left brought the Bucks to within 100-98, but
Dunleavy made four clutch free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal the win.
“I thought we rebounded well and got the job done, that’s all that matters,”
The Bucks ripped off a 12-2 run early in the fourth quarter, pulling to within
86-84 on a Gadzuric layup with 7:23 left. The Pacers were able to hold onto a
slim lead down the stretch, however. The Bucks cut to within one several
times, but were unable to take the lead.
Indiana opened the third quarter with a 12-5 stretch, with Dunleavy scoring
six points on the run that pushed the Pacers lead to 65-49 with 6:15 left.
Milwaukee continued to battle and used a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 80-70
entering the fourth quarter.
Granger heated up early, scoring 12 in the first quarter, and Indiana led
26-22 entering the second quarter.
A 14-6 run early in the second quarter opened up a 10-point Indiana lead.
Armstrong hit two threes on the stretch, which he closed with a jumper to
boost the Pacers’ lead to 40-30 with 6:25 left.
Indiana led 53-44 at the break.
The Pacers swept the Bucks, 4-0, for first time since 1997-98…Indiana had
lost six of eight and 10 of 13 at Milwaukee…Jeff Foster had 13 rebounds for
the Pacers, who outrebounded the Bucks 58-39.