Slumping Bucks take advantage of short-handed Pacers

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Michael Redd has not had a lot of fourth-quarter shots in the past few games, so he sat down with Milwaukee Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak and devised a new plan before Thursday night's game against Indiana.

The meeting paid immediate dividends as Redd scored 37 points, leading the up-tempo Bucks to a 104-92 victory over the Pacers.

"Let me play, let me go, let me loose," was the way Redd described the result of the meeting. "Just go play. No thinking. Play basketball."

Redd took only three shots in the fourth quarter in Milwaukee's loss to Phoenix Tuesday night, and four second-half shots in Saturday night's loss to Golden State.

Instead of Redd being the focal point, the Bucks offense went through center Andrew Bogut the past few games.

After his pregame meeting with Krystkowiak, Redd was back as the centerpiece of Milwaukee's offense and made 13-of-29 shots. He had five rebounds and five assists without a turnover, scoring 10 in the fourth quarter.

He played every minute of the second half and 45 overall as the Bucks won for only the second time in eight games.

"That might be the way we have to play the rest of the year, fast, up-tempo, keep pushing it, within sense," he said. "It was different tonight. It wasn't so much slow. Just playing in transition."

Mike Dunleavy scored 22 points and Danny Granger added 20 for Indiana, which has lost three of four since star forward Jermaine O'Neal went out with a bruised left knee injury. He's expected to be out at least two weeks.

Milwaukee took charge late in the third quarter, using a 21-6 run to open a safe lead Indiana never threatened. The Pacers missed nine consecutive shots to end the third and open the fourth quarter, allowing the Bucks to pull away.

"They just picked us apart during the fourth," Dunleavy said.

Redd hit a 3-pointer and Bogut, who had 17 points and seven rebounds, followed with a dunk to give the Bucks a 93-82 lead with 5:06 left.

"There's nobody on our team I'd rather have taking an open shot than Michael," Krystkowiak said.

"It's the time when maybe he carries the burden on his shoulders a little bit and takes some forced shots," he said. "I don't want to rob anybody of feeling like they can't take shots when they're open."

The closest Indiana came the rest of the way was 93-85 when Travis Diener, making his first NBA start, hit a 3-pointer with 4:56 left.

"They made big shots and we didn't execute in the fourth quarter," Diener said. "We had some great looks tonight, just couldn't knock them down."

Bobby Simmons scored 16 points and had eight rebounds for Milwaukee.

Diener scored 15 points and had nine assists with only one turnover in a career-high 40 minutes. Kareem Rush had 14 points and Jeff Foster tied a season-high with 13 points for Indiana.

Dunleavy, rebounding from a 2-for-12, 10-point game in the Pacers' loss at Chicago Wednesday night, had 10 points in the third, and made a 19-footer to give the Pacers a 69-65 lead with 5:45 left in the quarter. Indiana went cold for nearly 12 minutes after that basket, as Milwaukee took an 86-75 lead on Charlie Bell's baseline 3 with 7:18 left in the fourth.

The Bucks took the lead for good during the run on Royal Ivey's 3, making it 77-75 with 10:07 to go in the fourth. Granger broke the Pacers' drought with a jumper to pull Indiana within 86-77 with 6:59 left.

Redd hit a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left in the second to cap a 23-point first half, giving the Bucks a 52-50 halftime lead.

Game notes
The Pacers also were without guard Jamaal Tinsley, who has a sore knee and is day-to-day. ... It was the first meeting between the Central Division teams. Last year, Indiana won all four games. ... Milwaukee's Mo Williams returned after missing one game with a sprained pinky finger.


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