The Pacers are coming off their first road loss of the season as they squandered a late 14-point lead in a 103-102 defeat at Milwaukee on Saturday night.
Jermaine O’Neal tied his season high with 27 points, Ron Artest added 24 and Stephen Jackson had 20 for Indiana, which missed 10 free throws in the final minutes. That allowed the Bucks to rally from a 96-82 deficit.
“It’s a tough way to lose,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “I take as much blame for that as anybody. I should have had some other guys in to shoot free throws.”
The Pacers made 15-of-26 free throws in the fourth while the Bucks were 16-of-19.
Charlotte lost its fifth straight, 85-77 at Orlando on Tuesday.
Emeka Okafor got into early foul trouble and was limited to eight points— all in the fourth quarter—and six rebounds. He entered the game averaging 13.0 points and 9.0 rebounds.
Lack of offense could pose a problem again for the Bobcats, who may be without leading scorer Gerald Wallace due to a right wrist injury for the fourth straight game.
“That unit, we’re just not getting out of the gate,” Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. “I think there has to be a little more focus, there has to be a little more professionalism.”
STANDINGS (through Nov. 15): Pacers - 3rd place (tied), 2 1/2 GB, Central Division. Bobcats - 4th place, 3 1/2 GB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Pacers - O’Neal, 21.2 ppg and 9.2 rpg; Jamaal Tinsley, 4.6 apg. Bobcats - Wallace, 16.2 ppg; Okafor, 8.5 rpg; Knight, 7 apg.
2004-05 SEASON SERIES: Pacers, 3-0.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 9; Pacers, 94-87. At Indianapolis, O’Neal scored 29 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as the Pacers completed a season sweep of the Bobcats.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pacers - 2-1 on the road; Bobcats - 1-3 at home.