Final

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/15

Game 1: Friday, November 15th
Bucks77Final
Pacers104
Game 2: Saturday, February 22nd
Pacers110Final
Bucks100
Game 3: Thursday, February 27th
Bucks96Final
Pacers101
Game 4: Wednesday, April 9th
Pacers104Final
Bucks102

Pacers 104

(54-25, 20-19 away)

Bucks 102

(14-64, 9-30 home)

    Coverage: FSWI

    8:00 PM ET, April 9, 2014

    BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 25 28 19 32104
    MIL 25 25 17 35102

    Top Performers

    Ind: E. Turner 23 Pts, 7 Reb, 9 Ast

    Mil: B. Knight 25 Pts, 4 Reb, 10 Ast

    Pacers edge Bucks, creep back into 1st with starters benched

    Associated Press

    MILWAUKEE -- When Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel benched his starters for the entire game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, it meant extended playing time for the team's reserves.

    Chris Copeland made sure to take advantage.

    Copeland scored a season-high 18 points and made a difficult driving layup with 1.2 seconds remaining, giving the Pacers a hard-fought 104-102 win that moved them back into first place in the Eastern Conference.

    "It's big for our confidence, the second unit," said Copeland, who went in averaging three points per game. "Just to get the opportunity out there. A lot of us have been waiting for that all year. So it was very cool for us to get out there and get a win and show the starters that we've got their backs when they need rest."

    Copeland also tied a career high with four 3-pointers and matched a season high with 17 minutes of playing time.

    Following a pair of timeouts, the Pacers inbounded the ball to Copeland, who drove hard to the basket for the winning shot.

    "I tried to rip through to the basket and tried to use my size," Copeland said. "I saw help coming, so I shot it."

    Copeland's shot came after Milwaukee's Khris Middleton had tied the game at 102 by making three free throws. Middleton drew a foul while attempting a shot near the 3-point arc with 4.9 seconds remaining that referees initially ruled a 2-point attempt. After a review, the call was reversed, sending Middleton to the line for three shots.

    Luis Scola also recorded a season high with 24 points and Evan Turner added 23 for Indiana.

    Vogel made the unusual move to keep all of his regular first-team players on the bench after saying his team appeared tired following a 107-88 home loss to Atlanta on Sunday, when the Pacers were held to a franchise-low 23 points in the first half.

    "It was a great win for our guys, a great team effort," Vogel said. "We had a lot of good contributors."

    Even without the starters, Indiana moved a half-game ahead of the Heat heading into Friday's matchup in Miami.

    After leading the East most of the season, the Pacers had lost five of six games going into the matchup with the Bucks. Still, the Pacers went in just a half-game behind Miami, which lost at Memphis.

    The Bucks, who had only eight players available due to injuries, have lost six in a row and were on the losing end of all four games with the Pacers this season. Brandon Knight had 25 points and Ramon Sessions 20 for Milwaukee. Jeff Adrien pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds.

    The game featured 23 lead changes.

    Usual Indiana starters Paul George, David West, George Hill and Lance Stephenson dressed but didn't play. Another starter, Roy Hibbert, was inactive for the game. All five are expected to start against the Heat. Vogel insisted that the move would allow the starters to get some minor injuries healed and allow his reserves to play extended minutes.

    The Pacers' starting lineup consisted of Scola, Turner, Rasual Butler, Ian Mahinmi and Donald Sloan. The five had a combined scoring average of 21.7 points, equal to George's per-game average.

    "It was great for us starting guys to sit out and get some rest as well as our bench rotation guys to get some rhythm going late into the season," Hill said. "It's tough to be a spectator. But I had to be a good teammate."

    Adrien wasn't pleased with the benching of the Pacers' starters.

    "It was kind of like a smack in our face," he said.

    Sessions also was surprised to see Indiana's entire starting lineup on the bench.

    "They are fighting for something so it was a little surprising to see those guys sit," he said.

    The Pacers built a nine-point lead in the fourth before the Bucks' late rally.

    Indiana held a 53-50 lead at the half, paced by Scola's 16 points and 14 from Turner. Sessions and Knight each had 11 first-half points for the Bucks.

    The game was tied at 25 after the first quarter. Scola tallied 12 points in the period for Indiana.

    Game notes


    Indiana guard C.J. Watson returned after missing 13 consecutive games with a hamstring injury. ... Milwaukee center Larry Sanders was activated and began serving his five-game suspension for failed drug tests. ... New Marquette University men's basketball coach Steve Wojciechowski attended the game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Research Notes

    Since Evan Turner's first game with the Pacers on Feb. 25th, Indiana has been outscored by 8.7 points per 48 minutes with him on the court while its outscored teams slightly with him off the floor. The defense has clearly taken a step back with Turner as the Pacers are allowing 8.2 more points per 48 minutes with him on the floor.
      [+]
    While Indiana's collapse certainly can't all be pinned on the Evan Turner trade, it's worth noting despite Granger and Turner putting up similar numbers in Indiana this season - the Pacers were much more successful with Granger on the court. With Granger on the court, Indiana outscored opponents by 116 points. Thus far with Turner on the court, the Pacers have been outscored by 83 points.
      [+]
    From Elias: 137 teams in NBA history have entered the All-Star Break with a win percentage of .700 or better, including the Pacers this season (.769). Among those teams, only the 2000-01 Trail Blazers posted a worse post All-Star win percentage than Indiana (13-13 since the break). None of the four teams on this list made it to the Conference Finals.

    ESPN Stats & Information