The Milwaukee Bucks showed up to face the Indiana Pacers, played okay for 24 minutes, and then got their rears thoroughly handed to them for 24 minutes. They lose 130-142.
It was another all gas, no brakes affair between two elite offenses with the guards leading the way for Milwaukee early on. Giannis Antetokounmpo would score merely two first quarter points, but the Bucks were lifted by a combined 23 points from its guard corps on the way to a 31-33 deficit after one. Lead changes would ensue in the second, and we got to see Obi Toppin slam home an uncontested putback dunk off a missed free-throw to kick off some of the worst two-way play the Bucks are capable of. Still, Khris Middleton in particular proved to have enough moxy to survive the onslaught, Bucks up 68-66 at the half.
The start of the third quarter wasn’t ideal: immediate giveaways, lackadaisical effort, and the Pacers running the Bucks ragged up and down the court, it had it all. Indiana would rush out to a 13 point lead while Milwaukee struggled to get an open look; the worst of both worlds. To add insult to injury, an uninterested team finally woke up from too many punches to the mouth only to start losing their collective minds/cool. Very edifying to watch. Pacers up 97-113 after three.
The highlight of the fourth quarter was a Buddy Hield off-the-glass alley-oop to Isaiah Jackson off a Khris Middleton turnover. One team showed up for the second half and the other didn’t. Outside of a brief small ball lineup run in the fourth, the Bucks spent most of their energy allowing the game to come crashing down around them. A 130-142 loss is the result.
Stat That Stood Out
An offensive explosion for the Pacers in the third quarter proved the pivotal difference. Once they got on a roll it quickly turned into an avalanche. Indiana would have seven players score in double-digits with two more guys scoring nine points a piece.