If you caught this rare Monday matinee between the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers, it seemed destined to be forever known as the T.J. McConnell
game half. Giannis was a late scratch, joining Joe Ingles and Khris Middleton on the sidelines, but Jrue Holiday’s season-high 35 points helped the Bucks overcome a 13-point deficit with a big second-half effort to win 132-119.
While the first was quite even until through 11 minutes and 50 seconds, a couple miscues allowed McConnell and the Pacers to grab a 38-32 advantage in its final seconds. The Pacers guard torched the Bucks as the second continued, setting a career-high 25 points in 16 first-half minutes, not missing any of his nine attempts. His side led 76-65 going into the locker rooms.
In the third, Indy countered every attempt the Bucks made to put the game in single-digits until the closing minutes. Veteran defense and cutting supported some big buckets by Holiday, making it 98-93 Pacers after three. Milwaukee stayed hot over the break and snatched the lead back with ten minutes left. Big shots from Grayson Allen and Holiday helped Milwaukee grab a six-point lead midway through the fourth, and with Holiday taking complete command of the game, they grew it to as much as eleven in the closing minutes. They finished with their largest lead and took the quarter by a 39-21 margin.
Stat That Stood Out
At the 5:53 mark of the third, Wesley Matthews checked in for his first action since January 6th. It was 90-78 Pacers at that point and 54-29 in favor of the Bucks thereafter. How he changed the defense was palpable, but he also chipped in on the other end. He was a big part of McConnell only having four second-half points.