Oladipo scores 21, Pacers hold on to beat Bucks 103-96


The Indiana Pacers can finally smile on their four-game road swing.

Grinding out a 103-96 win over the Milwaukee Bucks erased the bitter taste of back-to-back defeats to 40-loss teams Atlanta and Dallas during the first two stops on the trip.

Victor Oladipo had 21 points to lead the Pacers, who held on after nearly blowing a 17-point lead in the middle of a mistake-laden fourth quarter Friday night.

Recently, the Heat have been the worst matchup in the league for small forwards, allowing just around 20 fantasy points per game to the position. It’s a small slate, but there are several other appealing options at SF, starting with LeBron James — the only true star on the schedule — but also including affordable options like DeMarre Carroll, Robert Covington, Nemanja Bjelica and Josh Richardson, not to mention the bargain Justin Jackson.

Wiggins has not surpassed four combined assists and rebounds in four of his past five games, proof his game is somewhat hollow past his penchant for putting up a lot of shots. Even with Butler sidelined, I don’t project Wiggins to enjoy a jump in any statistical category other than scoring. At similar pricing, I’d prefer Brandon Ingram, who has averaged more than five assists over the past five games.

Nick Friedell: The Bulls have been very cautious not to even breathe the word “tank.” The front office is very sensitive to the situation, especially after Mavericks coach Mark Cuban was fined 600K after his recent comments.

So the guess here is that unless LaVine and Dunn suffer an injury, it will be business as usual for the Bulls, as they hope the pair continue to find a rhythm on the floor. The Bulls have made it clear that LaVine will not play on both ends of back-to-backs, but it’s hard to see them sitting him completely and not getting a call from the league office.

Unlike veterans Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday, both of whom have been healthy scratches several times since the All-Star break, LaVine is a huge part of the Bulls’ core moving forward.

Rockets: Gordon returned after missing four games, one to a sore knee Cheap Jerseys World and the last three due to an illness. … D’Antoni, on any spillover of hard feelings from the chippy Jan. 15 meeting with the Clippers, when several Rockets tried to enter the Clippers’ locker room from a back corridor that resulted in two-game suspensions for Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green: “That doesn’t Cheap Kids NHL Jerseys play any part in it. They’re all grown men. They know better.”