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Rapid Recap: Bucks 119, Pacers 128

A heartbreaker in the desert

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NBA: In Season Tournament-Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, the Milwaukee Bucks faced off with the Indiana Pacers in the semifinals of the NBA In-Season Tournament. After a strong third quarter, the Bucks were unable to hold back the Pacers in the fourth, and fell by a score of 128-119. Box Score

Game Recap

The Bucks missed a few shots early, but Brook Lopez connected from deep on back-to-back possessions to put Milwaukee on top. Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner matched with their own buckets, but Giannis Antetokounmpo also began to get comfortable, scoring multiple times in the paint. The Pacers scored the final four points of the first quarter, but the Bucks still held a 29-27 lead. The offenses continued to trade blows in the second quarter, but Indiana began to stretch the lead in the final five minutes. Following a scoring run led by Haliburton and Obi Toppin, the Pacers took a 63-51 advantage into the break.

In similar fashion to the quarterfinal against the Knicks, the Bucks separated through a strong third quarter. Lillard knocked down a three to start the scoring, followed by back-to-back threes from Khris Middleton. Dame continued to dominate from beyond the arc, and he finished the quarter with 16 points of his own. The Bucks held a 94-91 lead heading into the final period. In the fourth quarter, the Pacers immediately retook the lead with an 8-1 scoring run. Malik Beasley and Brook Lopez responded, creating five straight points for Milwaukee. The teams continued to exchange the lead, showcasing their elite offenses. With the Bucks down five late in the game, Haliburton hit a cold-blooded step-back 3-pointer to put the game on ice, and the Pacers closed out the 128-119 victory.

Stat That Stood Out

The Bucks played an extremely tight rotation tonight, and it showed on the box score. Bobby Portis, Cam Payne, and MarJon Beauchamp all played under 20 minutes, and the bench combined to score just 13 of the team’s 119 points. On the other hand, the Pacers’ bench scored 43 of the squad’s 128 points. The deeper rotation seemed to benefit the Pacers on defense as well, as Aaron Nesmith and Isaiah Jackson contributed to crucial defensive stops down the stretch.

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