INDIANAPOLIS: Roy Hibbert scored 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked eight shots on Friday (Saturday in Manila) to power the NBA’s unbeaten Indiana Pacers over the Milwaukee Bucks 104-77.
The Pacers improved to an NBA best 9-0, the last team remaining in the league without a loss. Indiana is the first club to win its first nine games of a season since the Dallas Mavericks won their first 14 games in the 2002-2003 campaign.
Hibbert shot 8-of-10 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line, while Paul George contributed 22 points for the Pacers, whose largest lead was the final score.
Indiana hit 50.6 percent from the field while the Bucks, depleted by injuries, connected on only 34.1 percent of their shots.
O.J. Mayo scored 20 points to lead Milwaukee, which has lost four games in a row and five of six.
The Bucks, who fell to 2-6, were without starting point guard Brandon Knight, starting power forward Ersan Ilyasova and reserve Caron Butler.
Zaza Pachulia and Gary Neal both returned from foot injuries for the Bucks, but Pachulia netted only four points on 2-of-14 shooting while Neal scored 11 points.
The Pacers led 31-21 after the first quarter, built a 52-37 half-time edge and after the Bucks scored the first nine points of the third quarter, Indiana answered with a 10-2 spurt for a 71-55 edge and cruised home from there.