Bucks beat Pacers for fifth straight win
Salmons scored 20 points, and Brandon Jennings added 18 points and seven assists to help the Bucks win their fifth straight game, 112-110 over Indiana on Thursday night.
Milwaukee hasn't lost since acquiring Salmons from Chicago on Feb. 18. It's the Bucks' longest win streak since also winning five straight in November 2007.
"He's brought a scoring punch," said Bucks center Andrew Bogut, who added 15 points and 10 rebounds. "Obviously, with Michael Redd out, we need someone to come and get some points for us. He's a proven scorer in the NBA and he's done a hell of a job."
Salmons was jokingly asked about going undefeated the rest of the season.
"That would be nice, but that's not reality," he said. "You can't think about that kind of stuff. As a team, we need to start making a run for the playoffs. I think everybody on the team is stepping up their game to make the push."
Danny Granger had 21 points, and T.J Ford added 17 for Indiana. The Pacers have dropped three straight and seven of eight to fall to 19-39.
"I think everybody in this locker room is still positive," Ford said. "We understand our record and understand it's been a tough season. But we're fighting and that's all you can really ask for."
Milwaukee, 29-28 overall and 3-0 against the Pacers this season, had a 16-point lead in the third quarter, but Troy Murphy's 3-pointer cut it to 103-97 with 4 minutes left in the game. Following Jennings' 3, the Pacers got six straight points from Ford and Murphy to pull to 106-103.
Earl Watson's basket for Indiana made it 108-106 with 31 seconds left, but Salmons answered with a pair of free throws to push the lead back to four. Granger converted two free throws with 10 seconds left, and Jennings made a pair for Milwaukee.
"I'm starting to learn more as I go how to take care of the ball in late situations," Jennings said. "Fourth quarter, with three minutes or four minutes to go, I want the ball in my hands."
Ford was fouled shooting a 3 with 1.5 seconds left. He made the first two and intentionally missed the third, but Luke Ridnour grabbed the rebound.
"Our guys never seemed to give up on the game," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "John Salmons was a stake in our heart. He made big plays down the stretch."
The first half featured nine ties and seven lead changes and neither team led by more than seven points. The Bucks took their biggest lead, 61-54, on Jerry Stackhouse's free throw late in the second quarter.
"We are always happy to get a win," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "But we did not play our game. Hopefully, we'll learn something from this."
NOTES: Redd is out for the season with a torn left MCL and ACL. ... Pacers C Jeff Foster (back) and F Tyler Hansbrough (ear infection) did not play. ... The Bucks snapped a nine-game road losing streak at Conseco Fieldhouse earlier this season.
Last updated: 12:48 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012