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Rapid Recap: Bucks 96, Pacers 109

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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks might as well have swapped in the Wisconsin Herd tonight, as they got lambasted by the Indiana Pacers, 109-96. While shooting just 29.4% compared to Indiana’s whopping 69.6% in the first quarter, Milwaukee opened up the game trailing 37-16. Milwaukee managed to only be outscored by five in the second quarter at least, although that still meant the Bucks trailed 64-38 at halftime. Yes, it was as ugly as that sounds. The black parade marched on into the third, as the Bucks continued looking uninterested in playing basketball while trailing 88-65 after three. The fourth quarter featured a heroic comeback by Milwaukee’s scrub squad, but Milwaukee still fell to the Pacers when the final buzzer sounded.

This was an absolute drubbing all evening and quite frankly, an embarrassment for a Bucks team that handled this Indiana team adequately last week. Yes, that was without Victor Oladipo, but the return of one player didn’t change the fact Milwaukee looked as lackadaisical on both ends of the court tonight as they have all year. Milwaukee’s scrubs made the game closer late, but besides Sterling Brown hitting shots, those minutes will be about as useful to this team going forward as DeAndre Liggins.

Giannis Antetokounmpo looked as passive as I’ve seen him this season, breaking his streak of 20+ point games tonight and notching just 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists. He ended the night a -19, the worst of the starters, and attempted just eight shots, tallying most of his points at the free throw line (11-14).

Khris Middleton at least had the second most points for Milwaukee, getting 19 with Eric Bledsoe scoring just 11 on 1-6 from three. They went 11-27 combined on the night. John Henson was the only starter with a positive plus-minus (+1) and had 12 for the night. Kudos to Sterling Brown though for getting 11 points on 3-3 shooting from deep in garbage time.

For Indiana, the return of Victor Oladipo proved a fortuitous one, even if he just had a subdued 15 point, five assist night for the Pacers. Backing him up was 15 points and three blocks from Myles Turner, while Domantas Sabonis again roasted the Bucks off the bench for 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Stat that Stood Out

Milwaukee is ranked fifth in the league in points in the paint, at 47.6, while Indiana is just 14th at 43.7. You wouldn’t have guessed that tonight, where Indiana toasted Milwaukee down low 60-42. 40 of those for the Pacers came in the first half too, and Giannis’ inability to notch easy points in his bread basket beneath the bucket went a long way towards their putrid offense tonight.