Bucks can't handle Pacers in Indy

AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The move into Conseco Fieldhouse continues to be rewarding for the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers won their 13th straight at home, giving them a 16-2 record in the new facility and all of their home games have been sellouts.

Reggie Miller scored 29 points and Mark Jackson had 12 assists as the Pacers defeated Milwaukee 106-84 Wednesday night.

Indiana hasn't lost at home since Nov. 25, when Detroit won 107-99.

The Bucks, led by Glenn Robinson with 25 and Ray Allen with 16, lost their eighth straight at Indiana, including two playoff losses last year. However, the Bucks had won their previous meeting with the Pacers 109-95 in December at the Bradley Center.

"We were embarrassed in Milwaukee and we had to bounce back," Jackson said. "They poked fun and laughed at us when we left the floor and we did not forget that. It was time for us to send them a statement and make them respect us."

Robinson had 15 in the second quarter when he was 5-of-7 from the field. Still, Milwaukee trailed 61-54 at halftime as it was unable to match Indiana's 54 percent shooting.

"I had it going in the first half (21 points). In the second half, it seemed like they put a lid on the basket," Robinson said. "They're a good defensive team. You have nights like this sometimes."

The Bucks were already missing coach George Karl, who picked up two quick technicals with 4:54 left in the half from referee Tommie Wood. The calls came immediately after Jalen Rose had been called for a personal foul on what became a three-point play for Robinson.

"It was maybe the worst call in my career," Karl said of the ejection. "It was incredible. It is a sad commentary on the officiating. I said Tommie, come on he's riding him.' I might have repeated it. That got the (first technical).

"All I said was, What the hell did I say?' It must have been something personal from some other game. It had to be," Karl said of the second call.

"We played pretty much the same defense in the second half as we played in the first half. The shots just didn't go in for them," Rose said.

Milwaukee made its first six shots from the field, but then made only 28 of its remaining attempts.

Milwaukee cut the deficit to 67-63 on a free throw by Sam Cassell after Rose was assessed a technical for throwing the ball at Milwaukee's Scott Williams. Indiana responded with a 19-foot jumper and a 3-point jumper by Miller and the Bucks weren't closer than six again.

The Pacers led 78-70 going into the fourth quarter and took control with a 10-2 run to open the period. Indiana's biggest lead was 22.

Sam Perkins, Travis Best and Austin Croshere had 12 points each for Indiana. Tim Thomas and Sam Cassell scored 11 each for Milwaukee, but Cassell was only 4-of-19 from the field.

There were six lead changes and one tie in the first quarter before Indiana took the lead for good, closing the period with an 8-2 run. The Pacers shot 55 percent (11-of-20) to lead 32-27 at the break with Miller contributing nine points and Jackson six assists.

Notes: Al Harrington did not dress for Indiana due to a sprained left ankle. He hasn't been playing much recently with only eight minutes the previous four games. … Indiana, the league leader in free-throw accuracy, made 24 of 27. … Milwaukee hasn't won at Indianapolis since Jan. 25, 1997. … Dale Davis had 13 rebounds for Indiana. … Thirteen consecutive victories is the second-longest in franchise history. Indiana's longest streak at home is a 17-game run from Dec. 5, 1995 to Feb. 4, 1996. … Croshere has scored in double figures in six straight games as a reserve.

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By HANK LOWENKRON
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