Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/12

Game 1: Saturday, November 12th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 11th
Game 3: Wednesday, February 15th
Game 4: Saturday, April 1st

Bucks 77

(27-25, 10-16 away)

Pacers 88

(26-23, 17-8 home)

    Coverage: FSMW

    7:00 PM ET, February 15, 2006

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 25 14 19 1977
    IND 23 17 27 2188

    Top Performers

    Milwaukee: B. Simmons 19 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 4 Stl, 2 Blk

    Indiana: A. Johnson 24 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Pacers top Bucks for fifth win in last six

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The Indiana Pacers were happy to enter the All-Star break with a victory.

    The Pacers shot 41 percent and committed 20 turnovers, but earned an 88-77 victory on Wednesday night.

    Anthony Johnson scored 24 points and Peja Stojakovic had 16 of his 20 in the second half for Indiana.

    "It seemed like we were playing in quicksand, turning the ball over," Johnson said. "They really didn't have much energy, either. It was just two teams playing with no energy, but we found a way in the second half to get a big lead and create some distance and get a much needed win."

    The Pacers led 40-39 at the end of a sloppy first half. The teams combined for 22 turnovers and both shot 40 percent in the first two quarters.

    David Harrison had 16 points and six rebounds and Jeff Foster grabbed 18 boards for the Pacers. Indiana has won five of its last six games heading into the break.

    Michael Redd led Milwaukee with 24 points, but he shot 10-for-26 from the field. Bobby Simmons scored 19 points and Jamaal Magloire added 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Bucks.

    The Pacers led 76-70 in the fourth quarter before a 6-0 run, highlighted by a 3-pointer and a dunk by Stojakovic, put the game out of reach.

    It was a disappointing loss for the Bucks, which had played four games in five days. Milwaukee played the night before, beating Seattle 106-91. The rested Pacers hadn't played since Sunday's 92-88 loss to San Antonio.

    "I really don't think we gave our best effort tonight, being the second of a back-to-back," said Milwaukee guard T.J. Ford, who is recovering from a mid-back contusion. "But with the All-Star break here, we've got some time to heal."

    Indiana didn't make a 3-pointer in the first half, but hit five in the second. The Pacers outrebounded the Bucks 52-39 and held them to 37 percent shooting.

    Pacers guard Stephen Jackson was poked on the eye on a drive to the basket in the second quarter and went straight to the locker room. He returned to start the third quarter.

    Indiana held a 40-39 lead at halftime. The Pacers' top two scorers, Jackson and Stojakovic, were only a combined 3-for-13 in the first half.

    The Pacers started to get their offense going in the third quarter when Stojakovic got going. He hit two quick 3-pointers to give Indiana a 54-47 lead and force a Milwaukee timeout.

    Simmons scored six points in a Milwaukee run that cut Indiana's lead to 60-58. The Pacers responded by scoring the last seven points of the quarter, including a 3-pointer by Johnson at the buzzer that gave Indiana a 67-58 lead heading into the fourth.

    Johnson has been more assertive as a scorer lately. He scored 23 points in a 107-95 win over Golden State on Feb. 10.

    "It's always nice to get some attempts," he said. "I feel my offensive game is coming around. I feel good about taking shots and guys are looking for me."

    The win was significant for Indiana because for most of the season, the Pacers have had to play well to win. Johnson saw the positive in being able to win, especially while missing injured starters Jermaine O'Neal, Jamaal Tinsley and Austin Croshere.

    "I know our margin for error was small, but our defense has been unbelievable in the past two weeks. We've just been getting stops, we've been holding teams below 90 points. Any time you do that, you have a chance."

    Game notes

    The Bucks were called for defensive three seconds twice in the second half. ... The Bucks are 4-0 home this month and 0-4 on the road. ... Harrison entered the game shooting 38 percent from the free-throw line, but was 6-for-9 against the Bucks. ... Indiana shot 19-for-29 from the free-throw line. ... The Pacers are 5-2 since acquiring Stojakovic from the Sacramento Kings.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 77 88
    FGM-FGA 29-78 (.372) 32-78 (.410)
    3PM-3PA 3-10 (.300) 5-15 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 16-19 (.842) 19-29 (.655)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-39 15-52
    Assists 16 24
    Turnovers 15 20
    Steals 13 10
    Blocks 8 8
    Fast Break Points 9 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (2/0) 23 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 7 12

    Top Performers

    Bobby Simmons Simmons
    Points: 19
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 2
    Anthony Johnson Johnson
    Points: 24
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1