No Giannis Antetokounmpo? No problem. The Bucks took care of the Indiana Pacers with ease Monday night at Fiserv Forum, 140-113.
The Bucks would storm out to a massive 24-7 early on, forcing the Pacers to call multiple timeouts. In fact, Milwaukee would nearly put up 50 points in the quarter, as they stamped out a 22 point advantage after one. Brook Lopez (11 points) and Jrue Holiday (10 points) would pace the Antetokounmpo-less Bucks.
The second quarter featured a similar story — dominance from the Bucks. Led by Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee kept pouring it on. The Pacers would make some noise, but for the most part, they weren’t able to accomplish much of anything in the period. Moving into the third quarter, the Bucks fielded an 83-60 lead.
From that point on, things weren’t too difficult for the Bucks. The Pacers would still lag behind via a double-digit deficit, and moving into the final quarter of regulation, Milwaukee clung to a 110-94 lead.
There wouldn’t even be a sliver of hope for the Pacers in this one, as the Bucks had no problem putting the nail in the coffin. The Pacers wouldn’t even sniff single digits, and the Bucks coasted to a massive 140-113 victory.
For the Bucks, Jrue Holiday led the way, filling in the scoring with 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting.
Domantas Sabonis was the leading scorer for the Pacers. He’d conclude his outing with 22 points.
What Did We Learn?
In a night where the Bucks would be without their star player in Giannis due to a knee issue, we all knew it’d be imperative for somebody else to step up. Last night? That player was Jrue Holiday. He truly never ceases to amaze and his 28 point performance on 11-of-15 shooting (5-of-6 from deep) epitomized that. His importance to this team has been shown every time he’s out on the court (and when he was off the court due to health & safety protocols). One of the most standout characteristics from his play last night was his step-back, which was absolutely pure. He also finished with 14 assists, which was a season high. Holiday attributed this to his ability to get to the point and then kicking it out towards the open guy. It’s been a joy to watch him in the point guard position.
Brook Lopez continues to put up numbers.
Coming into last night, Brook Lopez has scored in double figures in each of his last 10 games, marking his longest double-figure scoring streak in three seasons as a Buck. Over those last 10 games, Lopez is putting up 13.3 points per game on 50% shooting from the field. He’d make that streak 11 games last night, as he totaled 18 points in 19 minutes played. It wouldn’t take him long to get going in this one, as he reached double digits in the first quarter. His play since the All-Star Break has been absolutely massive for the Bucks. In his postgame presser, Bud gave some credit to Brook’s play as one of the reasons they were able to build up such a quick lead.
The first quarter really set the tone for this one.
It’s not too often that a team puts up 48 points in a quarter, which is what the Bucks exactly did to start this one. Bud attributed the ball movement and the shot selection as one of the reasons they were able to get such a solid start, and that start really seemed to start hammering the nail in the coffin of the Pacers. I mentioned in the Rapid Recap that that’s the fifth highest individual point total for a single quarter in Milwaukee Bucks history. The record? 53 against Cleveland in the fourth quarter back in 1991. It immediately set the tone and allowed the Bucks to get out front early on.
Pat made the most of his minutes in a rare start.
With Giannis out of the lineup, a spot in the starting five opened up and provided an opportunity for Pat Connaughton to come in and show his worth. The Notre Dame product would ignite for 20 points on the evening, going 6-of-7 from the 3-point line. It was great being able to have his presence out along the perimeter, as it really helped pace and pad Milwaukee’s lead early on in this one.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- With their victory last night, the Bucks remain undefeated against the Central division. They are now 9-0 against the Central Division this season and 36-3 against their division foes since the start of the 2018-19 season.
- Here’s an update on PJ Tucker:
#Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said P.J. Tucker thought he could give it a go on the ankle in the second half, but then they elected to shut it down. He'll be evaluated in the coming day(s).— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) March 23, 2021
- We’ve been mentioning Donte a lot recently, and for good reason. He’s been everywhere lately, and once again, he’d put forth a double-digit rebounding performance. His final stat line would read eight points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
- We can’t forget Khris Middleton either. He’d put forth quite the respectable outing, pouring in 25 points on 10-of-21 shooting and connecting on five threes.
- Headband Giannis is here and he’s incredible:
- Giannis on the bench was also a sight to see:
- Now hold up. Did Giannis actually play? I took this picture from the Fiserv Forum press box after the crowd had dissipated:
fun fact: giannis DID play tonight, and he had one heck of a game. move over, wilt...you have some company! pic.twitter.com/HIZhrldAm5— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) March 23, 2021