The team with the best record in the NBA vs the team with the worst record in the NBA. Should be a cakewalk, right? Well, no. Full credit to the Bucks, who overcame a 17-point first quarter deficit to keep the game close down the stretch and forcing the Pacers to knock down their free throws with a barrage of desperation threes at the end of the game. Still, the Pacers had enough in the tank to wrap this one up, 101-96, to improve their league-leading record to 44-13.
Roy Hibbert had a very good game, 24 and 12 (finally), while Paul George and Lance Stephenson added 18 apiece. Evan Turner struggled in his second game, scoring 8 points on 2-10 shooting, but he's still better tyha Granger (for whom this would have been a "regular night"). The only major wrinkle is that George Hill bruised his shoulder in the fourth quarter and is unlikely to play against the Bucks on Saturday.
The Pacers still aren't playing well, but they're getting enough to beat the worst teams in the league. Things will get much tougher ahead, and with Miami firing on all cylinders they better get their act together in a hurry.
PS: In other news, Danny Granger has been bought out and will join the Clippers.