The Milwaukee Bucks got a shorthanded Indiana Pacers team, and while they provided some typical Indiana grit to keep it close for awhile, the Bucks wound up winning handily 119-100. It looked like the Bucks might put the Pacers away for good in the first quarter coming out like gangbusters, but the Pacers pushed back to make it 36-23 after one. Halftime didn’t bring any better fortunes for Milwaukee, who led just 58-56 after two periods, shooting just 5-20 from deep on the half. A late push by the Pacers made Milwaukee’s third quarter lead dwindle to just 10, 89-79, to start the fourth. The Bucks grew tired of the Pacers peskiness, and they won handily by the time the final buzzer sounded.
Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn’t able to find his typical efficient shooting stroke, but he still pummeled the Pacers inside and found teammates off his penetration. He ended at 29 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
Khris Middleton’s shooting stroke wasn’t nearly as hindered by TJ Warren’s defense in this one as the last time, as he poured in 20 points and eight boards. Donte DiVincenzo looked like one of the Bucks’ three best players in this one on both ends, finishing with 19 points on 10 shots. Eric Bledsoe was big in the fourth and had 16 points.
Unfortunately, the Pacers were already without Victor Oladipo and Malcolm Brogdon exited the game in the second quarter with an injury. Thus, they were bereft of some primary scoring leaders. Domantas Sabonis did his best to help fill the gap with 15 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists; same with Doug McDermott at 16 points. The TJ’s, McConnell and Warren, combined for 30 points.
Stat that Stood Out
7-7 from the free throw line for Giannis Antetokounmpo. His shifted form has helped his free throw percentage, and he even got tabbed by Budenholzer to shoot a technical free throw while he was on the floor. Given his ability to get to the line, even just reverting back to his usual career average in the 70% range would be a big advantage for this team going forward.