INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The Indiana Pacers came back from their West
Coast trip looking like a Western Conference team.
The Pacers ditched their grind-it-out style for a quicker pace
in a 112-88 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.
Stephen Jackson, who scored 24 points, said the Pacers have
enjoyed developing their new style in recent games. The Pacers have
won three of their last four games while averaging 102 points per
"We're starting to get a real feel for each other," Jackson
said. "We're at our best when we're up-tempo."
It was the Pacers' second-highest output of the season. The
Pacers shot 56 percent from the field and handed the Bucks their
fourth loss in five games.
The 24-point margin tied Milwaukee's most lopsided loss of the
Dan Gadzuric led Milwaukee with 17 points and T.J. Ford added
16. Michael Redd entered the game averaging 25 points, but the
Pacers held him to just 13 on 4-of-15 shooting from the field.
The Pacers' new attacking offense caught Redd by surprise.
"A team like that which is known to execute real well in the
halfcourt offense, you don't expect them to come out and score 110
points," he said.
Fred Jones has been a key to Indiana's surge. The guard scored
17 points against the Bucks, and has averaged 16 points off the
bench in his last seven games.
"Freddie's having a great stretch over the last month,"
Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "We certainly need him to
continue. He's energetic and aggressive. When he stays in that
mode, he helps us at both ends. He's a really important guy on our
Carlisle said he told Jones he is capable of starting before
their West Coast trip.
"I met with him before the trip and I looked him in the eye and
told him, based on the way he's playing, he deserved to be a
starter," Carlisle said, "but I didn't think we could afford to
do that because we lose a valuable player off the bench."
Jones provided a key spark early. The Pacers shot 68 percent in
the first half, including 6-of-8 3-pointers, to take a 61-49 lead
at the break. Jackson, who was 8-for-11 from the field in the game,
and Jones each scored 15 points in the first half.
Milwaukee cut Indiana's lead to 68-61 on an Andrew Bogut basket
midway through the third quarter, but the Pacers outscored the
Bucks 13-5 the rest of the period to take an 81-66 lead heading
into the fourth.
"They did a real good job of executing," Redd said. "Against
a team like that, you can't afford to get down by a big margin like
we did. Yes, we did make some runs at them, but we were just too
far behind to make it up."
^Notes:@ Indiana's Jamaal Tinsley was inactive again with a torn
right bicep and lingering soreness in his right elbow. He has
missed seven straight games and 14 in total this season due to an
assortment of injuries. ... Carlisle and O'Neal got technical fouls
less than 30 seconds apart in the first quarter. ... The teams
entered the game with identical 18-14 records.