Published May 02, 2016
Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Ersan Ilyasova netted 34 points with six rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Indiana Pacers, 111-107, on Thursday night.
Khris Middleton recorded 17 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 16 and Michael Carter-Williams added 13 points, eight assists and five rebounds before fouling out.
Milwaukee has won two straight on the heels of a six-game skid.
"We kept our composure, stayed strong and did anything to get the win," Carter-Williams said. "We're fighting. We knew this was a big game."
C.J. Miles led the Pacers with 26 points and George Hill chipped in with 24.
Indiana, which fell into a three-way tie with Brooklyn and Charlotte for ninth place in the East, has lost seven of its last eight. Those three teams trail Boston by a half-game in the standings.
Indiana managed to outscore the Bucks by one in the third quarter to trim its deficit to 85-74 heading into the fourth.
The Pacers, who trailed by as many as 23 in the first half, continued to chip away at the deficit. Hill buried three straight 3-pointers to help Indiana cut the margin to 94-92 with 5:42 remaining, but Carter-Williams answered at the other end with a three-point play. Carter-Williams then assisted on Middleton's trey that stretched the advantage back to eight with under five minutes to play.
Roy Hibbert netted a jumper with 19.9 seconds left to close within two before Antetokounmpo split a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 110-107. Hill dribbled out the clock and got a decent look at a tying 3-pointer, but it rimmed out and the Bucks held on.
"I'm proud of our fight and trying to get back into it, but we can't start out that way," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.
Ilyasova, who scored 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting in the first half, stoked the flame early as Milwaukee raced out to a healthy lead after 12 minutes. He scored 12 straight points for the Bucks at one point, and his 3-pointer with just over a minute left finished off a 17-point quarter and helped them to a 34-15 lead entering the second.
Indiana opened the second on an 8-2 run to cut its deficit to 13, then after a quick flurry from the Bucks, Miles supplied 11 straight points to whittle the margin down to 41-34.
Milwaukee responded with a 9-0 run -- five of those points coming from Ilyasova -- to stretch the lead back to double digits. The Bucks made 57.1 percent of their shots in the first half and led 59-47 at the break.
Pacers forward David West did not dress because of an allergic reaction ... Ilyasova finished the game 12-of-14 from the floor ... C.J. Watson contributed 23 points off the Pacers bench ... Milwaukee scored 19 points off 23 Indiana turnovers ... The Bucks outscored the Pacers 42-24 in the paint.