INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—The Indiana Pacers are used to overcoming off-court distractions.
Despite the news that Marquis Daniels and Jamaal Tinsley had been charged for their roles in a Feb. 6 bar fight in Indianapolis, the Pacers managed to outlast the Milwaukee Bucks 136-129 in double overtime Wednesday night.
Daniels and Tinsley, who were expected to turn themselves into police on Thursday, both played key roles in the victory. Daniels had 22 points off the bench and Tinsley added 11 points and 11 assists.
“It’s about basketball for us,” said Pacers forward Jermaine O’Neal, who finished with 29 points and 15 rebounds. “We stand behind our teammates.”
Daniels scored 15 points after halftime as Indiana (29-24) won its third straight game after losing three in a row.
“We’ve got to stay focused as a team,” he said, trying to avoid answering any questions about his legal situation. “We just had to stay together, play together and win together.”
The news of Tinsley and Daniels being charged earlier in the day was overshadowed by a thrilling game.
“These games with Milwaukee are brutal,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “There was a little too much entertainment for the dollar tonight, but getting a win was big.”
Michael Redd, playing his second game after missing 20 consecutive games because of a left patellar tendon strain, had 38 points for Milwaukee (19-36), which trailed by as many as 18 points in the first half.
“We’re right there, it’s just a matter of finishing games off,” Redd said. “There’s no quit in us and we have a lot of heart, but it’s frustrating when you lose in double overtime.”
After coming back from a five-point deficit late in the fourth quarter, and a four-point hole late in the first overtime, the Bucks couldn’t come up with another rally in the second overtime.
“We’re struggling with closing out games,” Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said. “It’s always one thing or another that prevents us from winning.”
With the Bucks trailing 114-109 with 26 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Redd made a layup to cut the deficit to three, and Bell stole the inbounds pass from Darrell Armstrong and hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 114.
The Pacers had a final chance to win the game in regulation, but O’Neal missed a jumper and Daniels’ follow attempt was no good at the buzzer.
After the Bucks fell behind 120-116 with 1:35 left in the first overtime, Redd forced a second overtime by scoring the team’s final six points and hitting a 3-pointer that tied it at 122 with 19 seconds remaining.
Following a Milwaukee basket that cut Indiana’s lead to 131-129 with 43 seconds left in double overtime, the Pacers scored the final five points, including two free throws by Troy Murphy and one by Armstrong to seal the win.
“That was a huge sign for our team, despite doing some things that lost the lead,” O’Neal said. “It was a character-builder, and we never looked worried in the huddle.”
The Pacers finished 3-3 on their six-game homestand. Indiana plays at Toronto on Friday night. … The Pacers are 3-0 against the Bucks this season and 7-2 in the past nine games. Indiana has beaten Milwaukee five straight times at Conseco Fieldhouse. … Bucks F Charlie Villanueva missed his third straight game because of a sprained right ankle. … In Redd’s first game back Tuesday night, he scored 17 points in 29 minutes against Detroit. … The Bucks dropped to 1-10 in their last 11 games. … The Pacers scored a season-high 136 points.