A historic night at Fiserv Forum unfolded on Wednesday night, as Giannis Antetokounmpo erupted for a franchise record 64 points en route to a 140-126 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Indiana started to cook Milwaukee down the floor to begin this one thanks to some offensive rebounds they earned, forcing the Bucks to resort to a quick timeout. Things began to crumble for the Pacers late in the first, as the Bucks fueled an 18-6 run to catapult themselves in front. After one quarter of play, Milwaukee led by a score of 36-33.
The Bucks would keep their foot to the pedal throughout the second. A Damian Lillard three provided them with a double-digit lead, as they did a good job of holding the high-flying Indiana offense at bay. A Buddy Hield buzzer-beater at the horn made it a six-point Bucks advantage at the break, 70-63.
Milwaukee would re-gain that double-digit lead throughout the third quarter. Giannis kept doing his thing and by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, he was up to 38 points. It helped give Milwaukee a 101-94 lead headed into the final quarter of regulation.
From that point on, history unfolded. Giannis would take over and turn up the dial to the tune of a franchise record 64 points, securing a 140-126 Milwaukee victory.
Antetokounmpo’s 64 points were a game-high. Damian Lillard was next in line with 21 of his own, including his own historic night with that three.
Myles Turner and Tyrese Haliburton had 22 points each to lead the Pacers.
The Bucks will return to action Saturday night against the Detroit Pistons.
What Did We Learn?
Giannis Antetokounmpo further solidified his Bucks career.
He finally did it. After always saying he was going to break Michael Redd’s record, he finally did it. You always knew it was coming and that it was only a matter of time. Well, last night was that time. As he took over the fourth quarter, the points kept racking up left and right. Yet again, it was just another example of how Antetokounmpo can simply take over a game at will. Just absolutely amazing.
I’ve been covering the Bucks since 2017. This is by far the most bizarre postgame I’ve ever encountered. Bucks players ran down the Pacers tunnel. Bally Sports Wisconsin caught some of the action:
Postgame, Adrian Griffin said he wasn’t aware of what had transpired. Rick Carlisle then said that the Pacers took the ball because it was rookie Oscar Tshiebwe’s first career point. He then said that the Pacers’ GM was elbowed in the ribs by a Bucks player in the tunnel. All seemed well, as it appeared that Bucks security had gotten the ball...until Giannis took the podium and said he didn’t know if he got the actual game ball. Get ready for the memes to continue in this one, folks.
Damian Lillard had a historic night as well.
Lillard was on the brink of passing Kyle Korver for fifth place for most threes made in NBA history. Amidst all of the drama surrounding Giannis, he did exactly that:
Here’s what he said postgame:
Here’s the video that the Bucks played from Kyle Korver congratulating Dame:
Kyle Korver congrats Damian Lillard on passing him for 5th place on the NBA’s all-time list for 3-pointers made pic.twitter.com/djoSL9O2MC— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) December 14, 2023
Just a remarkable testament to the legacy he’s had on the game. He’s an absolute special talent and Bucks fans are surely lucky to have him playing here in Milwaukee.
Bobby Portis proved why he’s beloved.
It hasn’t been the best year for Bobby, but last night, he re-gained his full folk hero status. Following a hard foul by Aaron Nesmith on Giannis, Bobby stood up for his teammate, which ultimately began a scuffle between the two teams. He would receive a tech for his involvement. He then would earn a second tech shortly after and subsequently be ejected. Postgame, everybody was praising Bobby for standing up like that. It shows how this team rallies among each other and has everyone’s back. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bucks go on a tear after this, frankly.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Andre Jackson Jr. and MarJon Beauchamp provided a bit of a spark in the first half. It was fun to see them out there with some other starters.
- Pre-game, Rick Carlisle had a very positive quote on Giannis, which aged like fine wine:
- This was the third time this season Milwaukee has scored 140+ points and is the ninth time in its last 13 games it has scored 130+ points.
- This is all wild:
Some crazy stats behind Giannis’ 64 point performance, courtesy of the Bucks’ Communications department: pic.twitter.com/Cbw8M3Z3GV— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) December 14, 2023
- Brook Lopez tallied six blocks tonight. That’s his league-high fifth game of the season with 5+ blocks. He’s now averaging a league-leading 2.96 blocks per game.
- Last, it was cool to hear this from Giannis. Glad to see that Adrian Griffin was encouraging him to accomplish history:
Giannis says he was ready to be subbed out but Adrian Griffin told him that he was two points away from the franchise record and to go get it.— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) December 14, 2023