Well hey, this is fun! The winning streak continues! The Bucks were able to outlast the visiting Indiana Pacers thanks to a large wave of consistent scoring down the lineup and toppled the Pacers by double digits, 99-85. Their winning streak is now at five games and is their longest of the season.
Giannis Antetotkounmpo and Khris Middleton led the Bucks to victory (again) with their dual 21-point nights, as Giannis added eight rebounds, five assists and five steals on for good measure. Greg Monroe was a productive third wheel again, tabbing 18 points and seven rebounds on the night. For Indiana, Paul George notched 18 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals and Jeff Teague contributed 17 points in a poor offensive night for the Pacers. Myles Turner had a quiet night too, ending with only six points.
Things began with the Bucks sleepwalking and putting everyone in the crowd to sleep, as Indiana started hot right out of the gates. They opened with a 10-0 run with the Bucks’ only firework coming on a Thon Maker double clutch dunk (which resulted in a Thon Maker staredown and my goodness, was it awesome). Jason Kidd elected to provide Rashad Vaughn some first quarter minutes afterwards. He didn’t make much noise in his opening stint of the night, going 0-for-3 in the first quarter. At the end of one, the Bucks trailed 27-23.
The first half also featured a presence we haven’t seen in recent games -- a dosage of John Henson. J-Hook saw the court for over 10 minutes, and contributed with two points, along with two blocked shots. Greg Monroe made a solid impact with eight points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting and a +10 for the half.
A watertight seal prevented the Bucks from obtaining the lead throughout the majority of the first half. They’d get close at times by being down only one point on multiple occasions, but could never break through. It eventually resulted in a sluggish two minutes of play that saw the Pacers take advantage with a run that produced a 10-point lead.
However, the good guys were able to chip away at the deficit and a Matthew Dellavedova 3-pointer slashed the Indiana lead to just five at 50-45 as the teams headed to the locker rooms. Both teams relied on inside scoring to produce their points, as the Pacers went 2-of-9 from beyond the arc and Milwaukee just 4-of-11.
Kidd rolled out a different starting lineup in the second half, swapping in John Henson for Thon Maker. An absolutely pure 3-pointer from Khris Middleton at the top of the key granted Milwaukee their first lead of the night, forcing Indiana to call a timeout.
Milwaukee would work on mounting their lead after their first taste of holding an advantage, and who else to do that other than the Greek Freak? A quick 6-0 run built the lead up to as many as eight and heading into the final quarter, the Bucks were ahead by six at 74-68.
The final 12 minutes was nip-and-tuck throughout, with the teams exchanging blows like two boxers in a ring. The good news was that the Bucks were the primary leaders throughout. Jason Terry the Entertainer was a large spark, hitting both a floater and a 3-pointer to push Milwaukee’s lead even further.
From that point on, the Pacers never made much of a threat. The Bucks covered all ends of the court quite efficiently. Paul George never went on a run where he went unconscious and brought the Pacers back himself (which I assume many of you were scared of). Instead, the Bucks went into cruise control and coasted to a 99-85 victory. A Khris Middleton 3-point dagger served as the second heartbreak the folks of Indiana experienced tonight (Congratulations to the Badgers on advancing to the B1G semis).
For Indiana, Paul George led the way with 18 points.
The Bucks are back at it tomorrow against Minnesota in a matchup that should be pretty fun to watch in KAT vs. Giannis. That Andrew Wiggins guy is also pretty fun to watch. It should be a solid game.
- Greg Monroe has scored in double figures in nine of his last 11 games. Tonight, he made it 10 of his last 12, finishing with 18 points off the bench. Milwaukee is now 24-16 when he scores double digits. He’s really heated up in the later part of the year and is beginning to show his worth. In his last 32 games, he’s been averaging 13.6 points per game (on 52.2 percent shooting), 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals.
- Prior to tonight’s action, Giannis had posted 15 30+ point games on the year. He didn’t score 30 points tonight, but I still wanted to share this piece of information with everyone. It’s so cool to think that we finally have a player of his stature here in Milwaukee.
- I still can’t get over Thon’s staredown from the first quarter. It has me incredibly hyped. So much energy. He looked like the Hulk! Just imagine how menacing he’s going to look once he adds on the muscle. Keep eating those 7,000 calories per day.
- There was a GREAT double-team defensive effort in the third quarter by Matthew Dellavedova and Tony Snell. Paul George had the ball on the corner baseline with room to work, but the two of them smothered him and left him nowhere to go, resulting in a traveling violation. Delly was especially feisty, which is nice to see due to the fact he hasn’t contributed offensively the way some fans may have hoped. If there’s anything Bucks fans can appreciate about the Australian, it’s his grittiness.
- Around the 2:45 mark in the first quarter, there was an outlet pass to JET with Giannis as a trailer. We missed a golden highlight reel play when Terry opted for the traditional layup instead of going off glass to the Greek Freak. We were all robbed and I’m still salty about it.
- WITH SIX MINUTES TO GO IN THE THIRD QUARTER, THADDEUS YOUNG AIRBALLED A FREE THROW.
- Say what you want about John Henson, but you can’t deny his contributions tonight. In his 20 minutes of time out on the court, he posted 8 points on 4-of-5 shooting, 7 boards and four blocked shots. That’s the type of games fans can get behind. When the multiple big men on the roster put forth a strong outing, this team is tough to beat.
- What’s a Pacer? I still don’t know. I remember the Pacer test from elementary school but that’s about it. I think it might have something to do with race cars somehow?
- We didn’t see Terrence Jones make his Bucks debut, which many thought may have happened with Teletovic absence from the rotation with a left hamstring strain.