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Milwaukee vs. Indiana: Bucks Stomp Out Pacers, 117-98

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Giannis Antetokounmpo’s technical foul propels Milwaukee to big win

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’d take until the third quarter, but the Milwaukee Bucks were able to extinguish the Indiana Pacers, 117-98.

The first quarter fluctuated from hot, to abysmal, then back to hot for the Bucks. Turnovers were an issue for a few brief minutes, which allowed Indiana to take advantage. Moving onward to the second quarter, Milwaukee built out a 32-24 lead.

Every single time the Bucks seemed to make a leap out in front, Indiana would have an answer. No separation could really be earned in the second quarter. When halftime rolled around, the Bucks barely clung to a 54-50 advantage.

The third quarter is where the tide really turned in this one, and things would become done and dusted for the Pacers. Following a technical call on Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks would coast to the end of the quarter on a 17-7 run, providing an ample lead that they wouldn’t relent the rest of the night.

For the hometown team, Giannis Antetokounmpo would highlight the stat sheet with a 29/12/5 performance. Khris Middleton boasted a bounceback game from his underwhelming performance in the desert, posting 27 points, including 4-of-7 from deep.

Myles Turner led the Indiana Pacers with 22 points.

Three Observations

This game’s script was flipped following Giannis Antetokounmpo’s technical foul.

Folks, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a single call get a player amped up like that technical foul on Giannis. In fact, it didn’t even rally just him — it affected his teammates and the entire arena. Immediately on the ensuing possession, he got the ball down low in an eerily similar progression of events and crammed it home. Honestly, it startled me and I was sitting up in the press box 50 feet away. This is the special breed that Giannis Antetokounmpo is. Just another chapter in the story. Ho-hum. Business as usual. My goodness, we’re so lucky to have him here in Milwaukee.

Malcolm Brogdon had a rare off-night.

Over his last four games, Malcolm Brogdon has been averaging 21.8 PPG while shooting 60.8 percent from the field and over 70 percent from deep. Since the All-Star Break, he’s been shooting 55.3 percent overall and 63.3 percent from deep. Things didn’t go his way last night as he only tallied seven points, but you’ll let it slide when he develops a pattern of consistency like that. In the MVP season that Giannis is having, as well as Middleton’s All-Star campaign and Bledsoe’s improved performance, it can be easy to forget about Brogdon. But good grief, consistence is his middle name. He remains the only player in the National Basketball Association who’s shooting better than 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three, and 90 percent from the free throw line.

Now for the only thing that matters from last night’s game — STERLING BROWN’S GEOGRAPHY SKILLS.

If you haven’t seen it by now, Sterling Brown is a social studies connoisseur:

This is so fascinating. I’ve already lost count at how many times I’ve watched it. The fact that he didn’t do it in alphabetical order, geographical order, or ANY ORDER AT ALL makes this a phenomenon. Luckily, Budenholzer’s press conference ended just in time and we huddled around Sterling in the tunnel just before he was about to leave. I was able to get video of us encountering him:

Real talk, this may be the defining moment of the Bucks’ season. Forget any dunk from Giannis. This is the true gem.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • With the win, the Bucks are now done with their regular season series vs. the Raptors, Celtics, and Pacers. In those 11 games, they finished with an 8-3 record. That’s quite the confidence boost when we’re so close to the playoffs. Something also tells me that they’ll be meeting one of those teams, if not more in the postseason. Can’t wait.
  • After his abysmal 1-of-12 shooting night out in the Phoenix desert, Khris Middleton rebounded in a big way. Last night, he put up 27 points, 12 of which came from beyond the arc. Seeing K-Midd put up those numbers is always a positive sign, especially when it’s against a playoff-caliber team like as Indiana. These performances will be imperative for the Bucks’ success in the playoffs.
  • It was another cold night from the floor for Nikola Mirotic. In 19:21 played, he went just 1-of-6 from the floor and 0-for-3 from deep, resulting in just two points. A positive note to take away, though (hopefully)? This:
  • THIS WAS INCREDIBLE.
  • It was nice to see Donte back out on the floor and to see a three fall for him. It was also surprising to see Bud rely on him so early in the game, but he said he wanted to get an extra guy in the rotation. Hey, I’m all for it moving forward! After all, we all know how clutch Donte DiVincenzo is in March...
  • Yeah, I wouldn’t want to be this ref.