NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 9th (All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (53-25) at Milwaukee Bucks (14-63), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers need to correct what ails them before the playoffs and what better way to start than with a matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night at Bradley Center.
The Pacers have lost two straight, five of six and seven of their last nine. Indiana has ceded Eastern Conference supremacy to the Miami Heat, who lead the race for the No. 1 seed by a half-game.
The Pacers have dropped six in a row on the road. They haven't won as the visitor since an overtime victory over the Detroit Pistons on March 15.
Indiana's most recent setback came at home, a somewhat embarrassing 107-88 loss Sunday night to the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta was 9-21 since Feb. 1, but did manhandle the Pacers.
"You can't look at records. Everybody plays at different levels throughout a year," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said of the Hawks. "This team is playing much better than they have most of the year, right now. This is a team we should beat at home, and we did beat at home."
Paul George netted 18 points to lead Indiana, which dug itself a huge hole in the first half en route to the blowout loss. David West finished with 13 points and George Hill had 12 for the Pacers.
The Pacers better get on track against the team with the worst record because they finish the season with a road game against the Heat, a home contest versus the Oklahoma City Thunder and a road game in Orlando.
However, Vogel indicated that players will rest over the final week.
"Not everybody will play. We'll pick spots over the final four games to rest guys that need rest and in the meantime, try to win all four," he said on Tuesday.
The Bucks are most likely going to finish with the worst record in the NBA and have dropped five straight, including two in a row as the host.
On Friday, Milwaukee fell at home to the Toronto Raptors, 102-98.
John Henson tallied 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists off the bench for the Bucks, who set a franchise record for most losses in a season with 63.
Khris Middleton scored 20 in the setback and Jeff Adrien went for 19 points and 12 boards. Brandon Knight chipped in 15 points, while Ramon Sessions added 13 points and 10 assists.
Milwaukee outscored Toronto 64-34 in the paint and 20-3 in transition, but made just 1-of-9 from behind the arc while the Raptors hit 12 3-pointers. The Bucks were outscored 55-32 in the second half.
"We had a really good first half," said Bucks coach Larry Drew. "Particularly our bench came in and gave us some really good minutes, some really solid minutes. We got off to a slow start at the start of the third quarter."
The Pacers have won all three meetings this season with Milwaukee and five straight overall against their Central Division rivals. The Bucks have won two of three as the host in this series.
04/09 10:20:27 ET