If Khris Middleton can work some magic for the second consecutive night, he'll be regaining some redemption. Two weeks ago Middleton had a chance to give the Milwaukee Bucks a win against the Indiana Pacers on the road, but it came up just short in overtime.
The Bucks and Pacers have both endured six-game losing streaks this month, and will hash things out for the third time this season Thursday evening in Milwaukee. Milwaukee will be aiming to end a three-game losing skid to Indiana, as their last win at home against the Pacers dates back to Dec. 18, 2012.
The Pacers are coming off a thrilling victory on the road last night in Washington against the Wizards. With under five seconds to go, George Hill drove to his right and practically cake-walked to the rim for a layup that left 2.7 remaining and gave Frank Vogel's team a fierce 103-101 victory that snapped a six-game losing streak. The win also helped the Pacers gain some ground on Boston for the No.8 seed in the conference, but the Celtics own the tiebreaker against Indy.
Two things to watch for Indiana are Hill and their second-unit. Indy's bench is tied with the Los Angeles Lakers in bench scoring with 41.2 points per game on close to 45 percent shooting. Hill has been scoring the ball well this month for Indy, averaging 18.8 points and 5.1 assists a night on close to 51 percent shooting from the field. Look for him to be a test for the Bucks' backcourt.
The Bucks snapped their six-game losing streak Tuesday evening after coming back from a 16-point deficit against the Miami Heat. In one of the more stranger finishes to a game for Milwaukee this season, Khris Middleton nailed a three at the buzzer after a desperation heave-pass from Zaza Pachulia. Middleton is averaging 18.5 points in the month of March through the 12 game played, which is 24th in the month among qualifying players.
The win was the 12th this season after being down 10 or more points, and the Bucks broom'd the Heat in a four-game series for the first time since the 1990-91 season. The win also moved the Bucks 2.5 games up on the Heat in the Eastern Conference standings.
As a final note, head coach Jason Kidd said before the game that Chris Johnson -- who had his second 10-day contract expire this week -- will not return to the club, and might actually re-sign with the Utah Jazz. Johnson previously had a 10-day with the Jazz this season. As far as the remaining 15th roster spot, Kidd said they will not look to fill it at this moment.
As a late surprise, forward David West is a late-scratch for the Pacers after an allergic reaction pregame. Paul George has missed the entire season after breaking his leg before the season, and will not make his return tonight, although he is expected to in the coming days. Rodney Stuckey will also miss tonight's game due to a strained calf.
For the Bucks, Jared Dudley (knee, back) will return tonight after missing the last six games. O.J. Mayo (hamstring) will be giving it a go once more as well. Kidd noted pregame that both players will likely have minute restrictions.
|2014/2015 NBA Season|
|March 26, 2015|
|BMO Harris Bradley Center | Milwaukee, WI|
|FS Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ|
|George Hill||PG||Michael Carter-Williams|
|C.J. Miles||SG||Khris Middleton|
|Solomon Hill||SF||Giannis Antetokounmpo|
|Luis Scola||PF||Ersan Ilyasova|
|Roy Hibbert||C||Zaza Pachulia|
|2014/15 Advanced Stats|
|95.6 (20th)||Pace||96.1 (15th)|
|100.2 (25th)||ORtg||100.4 (24th)|
|101.1 (11th)||DRtg||99.4 (2nd)