MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks got off to a fast start and beat the Indiana Pacers for the first time in nearly two years.
Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis scored 16 points each to help Bucks cruise to a 99-85 victory over the struggling Pacers on Wednesday night. Milwaukee had lost five straight against Indiana — including all three meetings last season — since beating the Pacers on Dec. 8, 2010.
The Bucks scored the first seven points of the game and led throughout. The lead was as high as 27 in the second quarter and 32 early in the third before they played their reserves throughout the fourth.
"We realize that as a team we just needed to come in and be the aggressor from the beginning," said Bucks center Samuel Dalembert, who scored eight points in the first quarter.
Dalembert, in his first season with the Bucks, finished with 14 points, all in the first half. Beno Udrih had nine points, 10 assists and six rebounds for Milwaukee, which shot 42 percent from the field and improved to 2-2 at home.
"It was a team effort. We just got going and we didn't look back," Jennings said.
The feud between the teams, who were involved in a couple of ugly on-court altercations last season, continued Wednesday night to an extent when Larry Sanders was called for a flagrant foul on Tyler Hansbrough in the third quarter. The foul initially left Hansbrough sprawled on the court but he quickly jumped to his feet and moved toward the Bucks' forward. The two were quickly separated and Hansbrough hit one of two technical free throws.
Both players downplayed the situation after the game.
"That was just a hard foul. I popped back up there, but there was nothing there," Hansbrough said. "It was a good foul. I do the same thing sometimes when someone has a clear shot. I am going to keep fighting even though we were down, I am still trying to win a ballgame even though it seemed like it was impossible with the amount of points we were down."
Sanders said he didn't think he deserved to be called for a flagrant foul.
"Tyler is real physical. It was just a physical play," Sanders said. "There are no easy baskets down there. I didn't think it was flagrant."
Hansbrough scored 17 points for the Pacers, while Gerald Green and Paul George added 12 points apiece. Indiana, which shot 38 percent, lost its fifth straight on the road after a season-opening win at Toronto.
Milwaukee finished with a season-low six turnovers.