The Milwaukee Bucks will try to end a three-game slide on Saturday night when they visit Central Division rivals, the Indiana Pacers.
The Bucks' woes started on Sunday with a road loss to the suddenly hot Detroit Pistons, but things got worse after New Year's Day. Milwaukee couldn't fend off a Texas invasion at home, losing 117-110 to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday before falling 115-101 to the Houston Rockets on Friday.
The Bucks took an 11-point lead into the locker room against the Rockets, then were blown out in the second half. Milwaukee was outscored 68-43 over the final two frames.
"The second half, they blew right by us," said Bucks head coach Scott Skiles.
Seven Bucks scored in double figures on Friday night, led by 16 from Brandon Jennings. Defensively, the Bucks struggled, allowing Houston to shoot 54.2 percent from the field.
But the most staggering number of the night was the 25 turnovers from the Bucks.
"The turnovers were unbelievable," said Skiles.
The Pacers weren't much better than Milwaukee was on Friday night. Indiana fell to the Boston Celtics, 94-75 in Boston. The 75 points marked the lowest output for the Pacers since a 74-72 loss at home to the Toronto Raptors on Nov. 13.
Boston held the Pacers to a season-low 31.8 percent field-goal shooting.
"I give credit to Boston's defense and bouncing back out of their slump," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "We knew it was going to be a tough game. We knew they got championship level people over there with great pride and great experience, great know how. And you know it was only a matter of time before their defense bounced back, and it bounced back in a big way tonight."
The Celtics came out physical and the Pacers couldn't really match that. Kevin Garnett was ejected after an ugly foul on Tyler Hansbrough, who was Indiana's leading scorer with 19.
David West was the only starter in double figures with 10 points. George Hill and Sam Young both missed the game with injury and their availability for Saturday night is in question.
The Pacers, who rank second to last in opponents' scoring in the NBA, begin a huge four-game homestand on Saturday night. After the Bucks, the Pacers welcome the Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
This is the third meeting of the season for the Pacers, the Central Division co-leaders. The Bucks, who are two games back of Indiana and the Chicago Bulls, won the first two matchups, both in Milwaukee.