Indianapolis (TSN) – Tyler Hansbrough turned in a team-high 22 points with 12 rebounds for his third straight double-double and Indiana surged past Milwaukee, 102-78, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday.
Paul George followed with 20 points, eight boards and six assists, and the Pacers received 10 points apiece from D.J. Augustin, Ian Mahinmi and Jeff Pendergraph in their third straight win. Roy Hibbert chipped in 11 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks.
“We had a dominant defensive third quarter,” said Indiana Coach Frank Vogel. “There’s a lot of talk about Paul George being one of the best wing defenders and Roy Hibbert one of the best rim defenders. But we have one of the best defensive point guards in George Hill.”
The struggling Bucks shot just 30.7 percent and saw Brandon Jennings go 1-for-15 from the field in the team’s fifth loss in seven games.
Monta Ellis scored a team-best 22 points and Larry Sanders had six points and 12 rebounds before getting ejected in the third.
“I give credit to Indiana,” said Bucks Coach Jim Boylan. “They came out with a purpose tonight especially in the second half and third quarter, like you mentioned. We had a hard time responding. It was more of a playoff atmosphere. Their defense was intense and we didn’t react well, so that’s a concern.”
Neither team had a lead greater than five before halftime, but Indiana turned a 45-43 lead at the break into a blowout by the end of the third quarter
The Pacers came out of the half and built their advantage to 19 points after the compLetion of a 22-5 run, which really took off after Sanders was thrown out for picking up two technical fouls.
After four free throws, Indiana’s advantage swelled to double-digits and 4 1/2 minutes later, its lead grew to 67-48 on a pair of Hansbrough free throws.
The Bucks shot an abysmal 3-for-22 and were outscored 28-11 in the period. They trailed 73-54 heading into the fourth and their deficit grew to 23 points just over three minutes in on a 3-pointer from Augustin.
Indiana’s lead reached its apex at 26 points.
The Pacers will play five of their next six on the road, while the Bucks will play at home for five of their next six … Indiana’s David West missed his third straight game with a back injury … The Pacers’ Mike Dunleavy was ejected in the fourth quarter for a Flagrant Type 2 foul.