Huge second half leads Pacers to 139-123 victory over Bucks


The Indiana Pacers snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night at Fiserv Forum, winning 139-123.

It’s just the Bucks’ third loss since January 23 and they fell to 50-20 year-over-year. The Pacers won for the third time in their last four games, improving to 32-38.

Pacers have a big second half to topple Bucks

With 12 players available – and Giannis Antetokounmpo in early foul trouble – Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer went 10 deep to outlast the Pacers. Antetokounmpo starters Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton led the way as they all reached double figures, with Joe Ingles Meyers Leonard, Jevon Carter and Wesley Matthews also scoring from the bench.

Milwaukee assisted on 26 of their 46 field goals and attacked the paint (66) on their way to shooting 54.1% from the floor as the regulars were in. – despite being only 8 for 22 (36%) from behind the three-point line at the time.

All were signs that the Bucks could win, but they were never really able to distance themselves from the Pacers, despite building several double-digit leads in the first three quarters.

That was because, like Milwaukee, Indiana had everyone involved on the offensive end as eight different players hit double digits.

Indiana used two different 11-0 runs in the third quarter to take a 104-101 lead in the fourth. The rallies were fueled by a 9-for-11 performance from behind the three-point line that took them to a quarter of 49 points.

The Pacers opened the fourth with a 13-3 run that gave them a 117-107 lead that the Bucks chased from there. But Indiana’s Andrew Nembhard (24 points), Aaron Nesmith (22), TJ McConnell (19) and George Hill (15) kept taking shots, and Milwaukee couldn’t make enough stops to come back.

Wrong problems slow down Giannis Antetokounmpo

Antetokounmpo spent most of the first half as a spectator for the Bucks after committing three early errors in the second quarter, but he made his presence felt early in the third quarter.

He immediately attacked Indiana center Myles Turner and committed two errors on back-to-back plays, then Middleton and Holiday found him for alley-oops through traffic on successive possessions after that to help the Bucks get ahead of take 10 points.

But he also pulled his fourth foul in that series of plays and would earn his fifth early in the fourth quarter. With that, the Pacers attacked the paint more and took a more physical approach with Antetokounmpo on offense to take a 12-point lead about midway through the fourth quarter.

The punctuation came as Turner dunked Antetokounmpo to make it 136-120 Pacers with 2:13 left, then Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer withdrew his starters.

BOX SCORE: Pacers 139, Bucks 123

Antetokounmpo finished with 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists in 26 minutes. He made 10 of his 17 shots, but was 5 for 10 from the free throw line.

He played just 10 minutes in the first half as the Bucks built a 64–55 lead at halftime. He was 4 for 7 for nine points and had six rebounds and two assists, but had to wait out the last eight minutes of the second half. He left the game leading the Bucks 44-40 and the Pacers tied the game after he left, but the team finished with a 20-11 run in the last seven minutes of the half.

Five numbers

22 Three-pointers made by the Pacers, who shot 47.8% from deep.

12-0 First and second quarter points for Indiana sharpshooter Buddy Hield. Held scored a dozen in the opening frame to keep the Pacers connected, but he only attempted one shot in the second quarter. He finished with 20 for the game.

46 Seconds, a piece in which Antetokounmpo was whistled for three fouls in the second quarter. He took his third with 7:58 to go, so he sat until half time.

84 Points in the second half for the Pacers, who turned a 14-point deficit into a 16-point win.

2/12/2020 The last time the Pacers beat the Bucks, a 118-111 victory over Fiserv Forum.

Tyrese Haliburton misses another homecoming

The Indiana all-star and Oshkosh native rolled an ankle in a recent workout and the Pacers star was not only ruled out for the game against the Bucks, the next handful for his team by head coach Rick Carlisle. Haliburton, who averaged 20.8 points and 10.4 assists per game in his breakaway season, has missed all three games against the Bucks this season.

Jordan Nwora takes on former team

The 24-year-old winger first faced his former team as a member of the Pacers. As part of a trade deadline with Brooklyn, Phoenix and Indiana that brought Jae Crowder to Milwaukee, Nwora ended up with the Pacers. Heading into Thursday’s game, he averaged a career-high 12 points in 21.3 minutes per game for the Pacers.

“This is a really good opportunity for him,” said Carlisle. “He has a real talent for getting the ball into the basket. He can do it with catching and shooting, he can do it with the dribble, he can do it with floats.”

Not only did the Pacers have Haliburton, but also fellow guards Ben Mathurin (16.6 points per game) and Chris Duarte (8.0 points per game) against the Bucks, giving Nwora the start and a greater chance to show off against the team that had set him up. in the second round of Louisville in 2020.

But he saw Middleton and Wesley Matthews face him for most of the match. Nwora only had four points in the first half on 2 of 5 shots in 19 minutes, but he finished with 12 points and was 2 for 3 from behind the three-point line in the second half as the Pacers took the lead.

His catch-and-shoot three with 57.7 seconds left in the third quarter gave the Pacers a 102–101 lead, and then they kept falling behind.

Game of the game is George Hill’s fourth quarter three

The Pacers took a 112–105 lead early in the fourth quarter, forcing the Bucks to call a timeout to try and turn the tide. But then former Bucks guard George Hill came out of the break and hit a three-pointer, giving his team a 115-105 lead with 10:05 left. Normally that’s more than enough time for the Bucks to come back, but with Antetokounmpo in foul trouble and the Pacers playing hard, it would prove to be the backbreaker for the best team in the East.

The game’s video is Meyers Leonard’s dunk in traffic

With Lopez out and Antetokounmpo in deep trouble, the Bucks turned to the 2-yard Leonard early in the game and he filled some space on the post nicely after a nifty pass from Jrue Holiday that led to a savage dunk over two Pacers- defenders. Leonard had six points in the paint in the first half, giving the Bucks a 38-20 lead in that area despite Antetokounmpo playing just 10 minutes.

Bucks injury report

  • Brook Lopez (left ankle pain), out
  • Jae Crowder (left calf pain), out
  • Goran Dragić (left knee pain), out
  • Grayson Allen (right plantar fascia pain), out
  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo (not with team), out

Who are the Bucks playing against?

The Bucks get a few days off before hosting the Toronto Raptors at the Fiserv Forum on Sunday at 7 p.m. The Raptors are under .500 but are still in the mix for the play-in tournament, so Nick Nurse’s team needs to win to keep their postseason hopes alive. They are led by all-star Pascal Siakam and security guard Fred VanVleet. OG Anunoby and Scottie Barnes are also having good seasons for the Raptors.

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