Hibbert powers Pacers past Bucks 95-80
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Roy Hibbert wanted to set the tone, so the Indiana Pacers kept going to the big man.
Hibbert had 20 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots, helping Indiana beat the Milwaukee Bucks 95-80 on Saturday night.
It was Indiana's third straight home win over Milwaukee, but its first victory against the Bucks this season. The Bucks won in Milwaukee 99-85 on Nov. 14 and 98-93 on Dec. 18.
"We knew this was going to be a must-win situation for us," said David West, who had 10 points and six rebounds. "We're fighting to stay even with these guys in the season series and stay ahead of them in the standings."
Hibbert told West before the game he wanted to score the game's first basket, then went out and did just that. He also grabbed a career-high 11 offensive rebounds — one shy of the franchise record — to help the Pacers extend their home winning streak to seven.
"I just wanted to carve out some space and try to get as many offensive rebounds as possible," Hibbert said. "Early in the season, I'd catch the rebound and I'd just go back up real soft. (Tonight) I just came back down and took my time, either passing it out or trying to go up and score it tough."
The Bucks scored the first six points of the third to grab a 53-52 lead. But the Pacers responded with an 8-0 run and cruised from there.
Indiana, which lost in Boston on Friday night, hasn't dropped consecutive games since falling to Denver on Dec. 7 and at Oklahoma City on Dec. 9.
"A really quality win against a division opponent we needed to get a win against," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "Limiting ourselves to 13 turnovers was a factor, as was our rebounding, particularly on the offensive glass."
Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 21 points. Brandon Jennings scored 12 points, Larry Sanders had 12 points and 12 rebounds and John Henson collected 13 boards, but the Bucks were outrebounded 59-39 by the Pacers.