INDIANAPOLIS – The Milwaukee Bucks barely could make a shot. They made sure the Indiana Pacers sank even fewer.
The Bucks held the Pacers to 30 points in the second half of a 94-90 win on Friday night. The Pacers made just 10 of 34 shots in the last two quarters after draining 11 of 18 in the second.
"We got a lot more active," said John Salmons, who led the Bucks with 22 points. "We played the defense we like to play. Our defense carried us, and it was a good win."
Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee's top rebounder, wasn't with the team because of a migraine headache. Backup Luc Mbah a Moute, finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds, and was largely responsible for limiting Indiana's Roy Hibbert. The Pacers' 7-foot-2 center had 14 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks, but he shot 4 for 11 from the field and had six turnovers.
"I'm just happy we won," Mbah a Moute said. "Bog was out, and I had to go out and bring energy, especially on the defensive end."
Brandon Jennings added 18 points for the Bucks (2-4). He entered the game averaging 14 points, but looked for his shot against the Pacers. Even though he shot 7 for 19 from the field, he thought his approach helped his team.
"Instead of me just trying to figure out everybody else's game and trying to set back for other people on the team, I'm just going to have to play like I played last year, and that's just be more aggressive like I was tonight," he said. "Take shots, and hey, if I miss them, I miss them. If I make shots, that opens up things for everybody else."
Danny Granger and Darren Collison both scored 19 points for the Pacers (2-3), who have lost two straight. The Pacers had plenty of opportunities, but shot 5 for 19 in the fourth quarter.
"We had some good looks in the fourth quarter that didn't go down, and they out-scrapped us," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said.
Carlos Delfino made a 3-pointer with 9:38 to play to give Milwaukee its first lead since the first quarter.
Mike Dunleavy answered with a reverse layup on an assist from Hibbert to put the Pacers up 85-84.
Milwaukee responded with a 6-0 run. A steal and layup by Jennings gave the Bucks a 90-85 advantage with 3:27 to play. Indiana hung tough, and a steal and layup by Collison cut Milwaukee's lead to 92-90.
Mbah a Moute missed a short jumper, and Indiana rebounded. Granger missed a jumper that would have tied the game, and Milwaukee rebounded with 26.6 seconds left.
Indiana, with roughly a 3-second difference between the shot clock and game clock, chose not to foul. Hibbert was called for a foul with 5.1 seconds left, and Salmons made two free throws to put the game out of reach.
The Pacers finished the first half with a flourish. Jennings made a free throw for the Bucks, giving the Pacers one last shot with 3.4 seconds left in the first half. Collison took the inbounds pass, sliced through the Bucks' defense and hit a 33-foot 3-pointer as time expired to give the Pacers a 60-52 lead at the break.
Indiana started strong in the second half, but back-to-back threes by Jennings and Salmons cut Indiana's lead to 66-64 and forced the Pacers to call timeout.
Pacers rookie Paul George missed his first three shots when he came off the bench, but redeemed himself with a layup and a 3-pointer to put the Pacers up 73-67.
After a Milwaukee timeout, George hit another three. The Pacers led by six at the end of the quarter before falling apart in the fourth.
"We just didn't get the job done tonight," Hibbert said. "Coming down the stretch, we were bad. I didn't clog the middle the way I should have, which hurt us. The Bucks are a good team, I'm not taking anything away from them, and I'm going to have to hold myself accountable for this loss."
Milwaukee didn't want to fall into a deeper hole so early in the season, and played like it in the second half.
"It was a big win for us," Salmons said. "We started off a little slow, but we're gradually getting better. We all stepped up and got a win."
Notes: Pacers G Brandon Rush sat out for the final game of his five-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. ... Indiana F-C Jeff Foster missed the game with a sprained right ankle. ... Indiana's Josh McRoberts committed his third foul with 6:24 left in the first quarter. He went scoreless in 12 minutes ... Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell attended the game.