Pacers blow late 14-point lead, fall to Bucks

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Mo Williams predicted Indiana's last defensive strategy and it worked out for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Williams hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, rallying the Bucks from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter as they beat the Pacers 103-102 on Saturday night.

"I felt like they would play for the drive. Rather than shoot the tough shot, I tried a shot I know I can make," he said, preferring the open floor and not a shot in the paint. "That's a lot of credit to us that we came back on a great team like that."

Williams, who came in shooting 9-for-12 on 3-pointers in four games this season, was 3-for-4 from behind the arc in the game.

Michael Redd led the Bucks with 28 points, and Williams and T.J. Ford added 19 apiece.

Jermaine O'Neal tied his season high with 27 points for Indiana. Ron Artest added 24 points, Stephen Jackson 20 and Fred Jones had a season-high 17 for the Pacers.

Indiana missed 10 free throws down the stretch as the Bucks charged back 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.

"We couldn't make free throws in the beginning, and they couldn't at the end when it counted most," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said.

Milwaukee recovered from a 5-for-12 performance at the line in the first half, when Indiana was 14-of-16.

Redd sparked the comeback with 12 points, including three free throws with 7.3 seconds left after being fouled by Anthony Johnson behind the 3-point line.

"Everything that can go wrong went wrong in the last two minutes," Johnson said. "We came up here, the second [game] of a back-to-back, had this game under control and let it get away from us."

Redd's free throws cut the Bucks' deficit to 101-100. Jones was fouled on Indiana's next possession and made one free throw to push the lead to 102-100 with seven seconds left.

With no timeouts left, Williams dribbled up the court on the Bucks' final possession, hit a 29-foot shot for the win and fell to the floor as his teammates mobbed him. The play was reviewed, but the ball clearly left Williams' hand before the buzzer.

The Bucks, coming off a loss to Golden State on Tuesday night that snapped their three-game winning streak, struggled on both ends of the court until the very end when they came from behind for the fifth consecutive game.

Except for two ties early in the first quarter, Indiana led from start until the Bucks finally found their shooting touch in the third quarter. Milwaukee had a 21-5 run, capped by two free throws from Ford, to tie the game at 61 with 3:39 left in the period.

Jones stopped the Bucks from getting any closer with 10 points, including a jumper that sent the Pacers into the fourth quarter with a 74-71 lead and the momentum.

Artest, who scored a season-high 30 points in Indiana's 102-90 victory over New Jersey on Friday night, opened the fourth with a dunk and then added a 3 and two free throws as the Pacers began to regain control.

O'Neal extended the Pacers' lead to 92-79 late in the fourth with seven points while the Bucks could only manage a free throw by Jamaal Magloire.

The Bucks pulled to 96-90 with an 8-0 run, capped by Redd's two free throws with 2:08 remaining. Artest and Johnson each missed two free throws while Redd hit two free throws and Andrew Bogut made a short jumper that pulled Milwaukee to within 98-94 with 31.7 seconds to go.

Artest made one free throw and Redd answered with a 3 to make it 99-97.

Game notes
Artest, a six-year veteran, reached the 3,000th point plateau for the Pacers with his dunk to open the fourth quarter. ... Guard-forward Jonathan Bender (left knee) missed his third straight game for Indiana. ... Point guard Jamaal Tinsley and center David Harrison (sore lower back) did not accompany the Pacers to Milwaukee.