Posted March 24, 2012 on
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George Hill scored a season-high 24 points coming off the bench and the Indiana Pacers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 125-104 on Saturday night.
Roy Hibbert added 16 points and nine rebounds to help the Pacers rebound from a home loss to Phoenix.
Ersan Ilyasova had 22 points and eight rebounds for the Bucks. Monta Ellis, Milwaukee's recent trade acquisition, scored 11 points, struggling after scoring nine in the first quarter. Ellis sat most of the fourth with the game well out of hand.
The game included a minor confrontation in the fourth quarter between Milwaukee's Mike Dunleavy, a former Pacers player, and Indiana's Tyler Hansbrough.
The Pacers did much of their damage from the line, making 32 of 39 free throws while the Bucks were 14 of 18.
Both teams were playing for the third night in a row. To make matters worse, the Bucks' team plane wasn't able to land in Milwaukee after Friday night's victory at Charlotte, so the team had to land in Chicago and take a bus back. The team didn't get in to Milwaukee until about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.
Milwaukee came into Saturday night's game a half-game behind the New York Knicks for the No. 8 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference; the Knicks won Saturday, giving them a 1 1/2-game lead. The Bucks play at New York on Monday night, and face the Knicks again at home on April 11.
To make a push for the playoffs in the final stretch of the season, Bucks coach Scott Skiles said before the game that it won't be enough for the Bucks to take care of business against sub-.500 teams - they're going to have to find a way to beat good teams, too.
But that didn't happen Saturday, as Indiana took control with a scoring spurt in the third quarter.
The Pacers led by nine at halftime, but the Bucks were able to cut the lead to six on a 3-pointer by Ilyasova.
Indiana went on an 11-2 run from there, taking a 76-61 lead on a pair of free throws by Hibbert with 4:41 left in the third.
Milwaukee's offense, which has been impressive in its recent hot streak and was expected to be even better with the recent addition of Ellis, scored only three points in a stretch of about five minutes in the third quarter.
The Bucks closed what was otherwise a miserable quarter on a high note, as Jennings hit a rainbow shot from well beyond the halfcourt line at the buzzer. Still, the Pacers led 92-76 going into the fourth quarter.
The game got chippy early in the fourth quarter when Dunleavy was assessed a Flagrant-1 foul for a hard knock that sent Hansbrough to the floor.
Hansbrough appeared to be in some pain as he took a few minutes before getting back up, then missed a pair of free throws. The two players continued to jaw at each other, and were assessed double-technicals.
Dunleavy signed with the Bucks after spending the previous four seasons with the Pacers.
Notes: Pacers coach Frank Vogel was coming off his first career ejection, which came in Friday night's home loss to Phoenix. ... Hill's previous season high of 22 came Jan. 13 at Toronto. ... Carlos Delfino had 13 points for Milwaukee.
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