Bucks lose playoff killer against the Pacers 89-88

By mikemitchell

Milwaukee went into Indiana Friday night to play the Pacers. The Bucks were three games behind the Pacers for the 8th playoff spot in the East, so Fridays game was a perfect opportunity to make up ground, and get back in the playoff race.

The Bucks Andrew Bogut missed Friday morning shoot around, he was being treated in an Indianapolis hospital, Bogut was suffering from another migraine that coach Scott Skiles said he gets often. Bogut was treated and released, he returned to the team hotel around 2 pm.

Bogut made the start against the Pacers, and like the rest of the Bucks, he came out shooting. Bogut went 4-4 in the first quarter scoring eight first quarter points. Brandon Jennings also scored six points in the first quarter, helping the Bucks start out 10-19 shooting, and end the first quarter with a 22-14 lead.

Indiana took that first quarter blow, and came back with one of their own. The Pacers scored 32 points in the second quarter. Darren Collison led the way Pacers in the first half with nine points and five assist, helping the Pacers recover from a very slow start. Indiana finished the first half strong, taking a seven point lead at 46-39.

The Pacers scored the first six points of the third quarter, causing Bucks coach Scott Skiles to look to the bench for a spark. Skiles dusted off Corey Maggette. Maggette had only played two minutes in the previous seven games for the Bucks, he entered the game with Earl Boykins. Maggette calmly went down the floor and drilled a three pointer to cut the deficit to nine at 60-51.

Roy Hibbert countered the Maggette three with a basket. Tyler Hansbrough sank one of two free throws, and sank a jumper on the following Pacers possession to make the score 65-51. The Bucks managed to get a little ground back, and a Luc Richard Mbah a Moute jumper pulled the Bucks back within nine to end the third 69-60.

Milwaukee gained ground quickly in the fourth quarter, a Corey Maggette dunk on a fast break, and a jumper on the next trip down the floor made the score 75-71 with 8:03 left in the game. Five straight points from Brandon Jennings made the score 81-78, and two more buckets by Jennings pulled the Bucks within two 86-84. Tyler Hanbrough drew Boguts sixth foul, to put Bogut out of the game. Hansbrough hit one of two free throws making it 87-84. John Salmons hit a jumper to put the Bucks within one with 1:29 left. Roy Hibbert scored on a dunk for the Pacers, but Salmons came back with a 22 foot jumper to make it a one point game with 26.7 left.

Darren Collison missed a shot for the Pacers, the rebound was tapped out to Maggette, Skiles called a Bucks time out with 2.7 left. The Pacers sniffed out the inbounds play, clearly set up for John Salmons, which caused the last option on the play Drew Gooden to take the potential game winner, along jump shot that missed badly. The game ended 89-88, another one point loss for the Bucks on their 3 game road trip, and for the most part ending the Bucks playoff chances.

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