Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland (22) congratulated with teammates after scoring the game winning shot during the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Photo by Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
MILWAUKEE - The Indiana Pacers defeated the lowly Milwaukee Bucks 104-102 despite coach Frank Vogel's decision to bench all of his starters for the entire National Basketball Association game on Wednesday.
Chris Copeland's go-ahead basket with one second left gave the win to the struggling Pacers who had lost eight of their last 11 games.
Vogel announced during the Pacers' morning workout that he would sit his starting crew against the Bucks, who have the worst record in the league.
All-stars Paul George and Roy Hibbert, guards George Hill and Lance Stephenson and power forward David West all skipped the game against the Bucks.
Bucks' Khris Middleton hit three consecutive free throws to tie the game 102-102 with five seconds left in the fourth in front of a crowd of 13,139 at the BMO Center arena.
After a timeout, Copeland got the ball and drove the right side before tossing a floater up that dropped through for the game-winning basket.
The victory allowed the Pacers to move a half-game ahead in the standings of the two-time defending league champion Miami Heat, who Indiana faces on Friday.
With the regular season winding down, top spot in the Eastern Conference will be on the line in Miami on Friday.
Vogel started Evan Turner and Luis Scola at the forward spots in place of George and West, with Ian Mahinmi filling in for Hibbert at centre and Donald Sloan and Rasual Butler starting at guard.
Scola finished with 24 points and nine rebounds while Turner tallied 23 points and nine assists for Indiana who face Oklahoma City and Orlando after their Miami game.
The Bucks, who have lost six straight, set a franchise record in 2013-14 for most losses in a season.
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