MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Indiana coach Rick Carlisle knows exactly why
the Indiana Pacers are in the playoff chase.
"The biggest reason we're still in the hunt is because of
Reggie Miller," Carlisle said.
Miller scored 12 of his 22 points in the third quarter to lead
the Indiana Pacers to a 90-76 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on
"He's really focused in on these last 12, 13 games," Carlisle
said. "He wants to go out as a guy who's competing in the
playoffs. As a team, we're going to do everything we can do to get
him and ourselves one more shot at playing in the first round of
Miller, who was ejected in the second quarter of a four-point
loss Saturday at Chicago, made 5-of-7 3-pointers and sat out the
entire fourth quarter as the Pacers held a comfortable lead.
His night was definitely finished as he gave his shoes to a pair
of Indiana fans with about 3 minutes left in the game.
"I told the guys to approach this like a playoff game because
this was a must-win for us," Miller said.
Indiana is in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, three
games in front of ninth place Orlando.
Michael Redd had 14 points to lead the Bucks, who matched their
season-high with a sixth straight loss.
"There was no life about us," Milwaukee coach Terry Porter
said. "Mentally we were fried after we came back from that long
West Coast trip. We just didn't have it."
The victory was only Indiana's second win in Milwaukee over its
last 10 games.
"We've had no luck in here the last two years," Carlisle said.
"We haven't really come close to winning a game in Milwaukee. We
tried everything. We tried going out a different way before the
game. It gets to a point where you try to change your luck a little
The Pacers blew the game open in the third quarter. Miller had
eight of Indiana's first 11 points, including two 3-pointers and a
dunk to give the Pacers a 56-39 advantage. After the Bucks scored
the next eight points to close to 56-47 with 5:13 left, the Pacers
went on an 18-3 run to end the quarter.
"We executed well, got a couple of easy buckets, which was
really important," Carlisle said. "Then we were able to get
stops. That gave us a little more life to try to put them away."
Stephen Jackson had 11 of his 13 points in the first half as
Indiana built a 46-34 lead.
Dan Gadzuric had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks. It was
his team-high 15th double-double of the season.
"We played competitively on the road and we came home and to
play like this, it's disappointing," Redd said.
Miller made his only free-throw attempt to increase his
streak to 41 in a row. ... Indiana improved to 21-19 against the
East and 2-2 against Milwaukee. ... The Bucks are 21-21 against the
East. ... Four of Milwaukee's next five games are at home. ... The
Bucks missed 12 of 25 free-throw attempts in the first three