Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
The Pacers beat the Bucks 95-80 to move to 8-3 in second night of back-to-backs and 12-3 at home.
Immediately after the game, Indiana Pacers' center Roy Hibbert talked about consistency when asked about his 20 point, 15 rebound effort against the Milwaukee Bucks. It's certainly been a major issue for Hibbert this season, but any time you can show the dominance he showed on both sides of the floor, you have to hope that consistency is just around the corner. Even though the numbers don't back it up, Hibbert did have a decent night against the Celtics, but simply wasn't given the same opportunities he was tonight, whether that was a game plan issue or a Roy Hibbert issue.
Hibbert had a season high of 20, also a career high 11 offensive rebounds. Add in five blocks, and it was Roy Hibbert's kind of night. The production was welcomed considering that even with the return of George Hill, there was more struggles from David West and Paul George. Both continued their poor shooting in the first half, but picked up for some key plays in the second half; a pair of West buckets here, a big Paul dunk there. Turnovers have been an issue for Paul this season, and he did tally up six tonight of the team's 12, but got some help when he wasn't getting the calls he expected to get.
Whistles were an issue for the Pacers, a lack of calls resulted in three Pacers technicals, and early calls shook up the rotation, allowing time for Jeff Pendergraph and Orlando Johnson early. Johnson was beefed up as a part of the rotation in the absence of Sam Young, scoring seven, and certainly not being gun shy. The highlights of Johnson's play were layups around the basket, part of a second quarter stretch where the Pacers got everything inside against the Milwaukee defense.
Gerald Green could learn a thing or two from the inside play the Pacers had, as he went 2-10 from the field, 1-7 from three point range. Green made little effort to get anything inside the three point arc, and the basket made little effort to give him three points whenever he threw one at the rim. His play as a whole dragged down a solid bench effort. Ian Mahinmi was quiet, but did come up with three rebounds, D.J. Augustin had eight off the Pacers bench, showing some positive signs in his return to the second unit, and Tyler Hansbrough was active for nine points and six boards, through struggling from the line, just 3-8.
George Hill's return to the lineup opened up a lot for the Pacers. He himself brought a lot of positive things to the lineup, and aside from scoring 14 points, his play and Lance Stephenson's tallying seven of Indiana's 19 assists helped the ball movement. Passing was very sharp when you look at Stephenson, making some ill advised passes that...well, maybe weren't so ill advised when you see them end up exactly where they needed to end up. Stephenson had 10.
Defense was a bit of an issue in the first half, the Pacers were giving the Bucks a lot of second chance shots and not keeping Milwaukee off the scoreboard, but held them to just 33 points in the second half. The Pacers' play in the second half was crisp on both sides of the ball, the offensive play leading to some easy buckets and the defense really limiting the Bucks' most effective weapons. Monta Ellis had 16 in the first half, just five in the second.
The win keeps the Pacers from slipping into a potentially lengthy losing streak with the games on the horizon, moving them to 20-14 on the season. Indiana will play host to the Miami Heat on Tuesday. The Heat have been coasting through the regular season, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see them come out and try and make a statement for the sake of making one against the Pacers.