It was just one of those games for the Indiana Pacers, as they came up short in Milwaukee on Thursday night, falling to the Bucks, 117-98. The Pacers looked good in spurts, but never truly found their footing in this one, and poor shooting allowed Milwaukee to pull away.
Behind early hot shooting, the Bucks jumped out to a 13-5 lead, forcing a Pacers timeout. When the Pacers returned to the court, they put together a 13-4 run to take an 18-17 lead with 5:49 left in the opening quarter.
The Bucks controlled the rest of the period though and took a 32-24 lead into the second quarter. In the second, Milwaukee was able to grow its lead to 13, 51-38, but the Pacers fired back with a 10-0 run to cut the lead to get back into the game and trail by just three with 2:19 left in the half. Heading into the locker room for halftime, the Pacers trailed by four, 54-50.
The Pacers continued to hang around in the third. Milwaukee led 67-58 before Bojan Bogdanovic nailed back-to-back triples to make it a three-point game with 5:54 left in the third.
From there, the home team asserted itself. The Bucks answered with a 13-0 run to regain control with a 80-64 lead, and at the end of the third, Milwaukee led 84-72.
In the fourth, Milwaukee pulled away for good. The Bucks pushed their lead to 20 with just under nine minutes to play. In hopes of making one last push for a comeback, Indiana got the lead down to 16, but Khris Middleton closed the door for good with a four-point play at the 5:45 mark to make the deficit 20 again, 102-82.
“We just got away from what we were doing,” Pacers forward Thad Young said. “We didn’t play our type of basketball.”
Myles Turner finished with 22 points and 17 rebounds. Bogdanovic added 17 points.
Milwaukee was led by MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo scored 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Khris Middleton scored 27 points.
“Too much [Giannis] Antetokounmpo [and] too much [Khris] Middleton,” Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. “When they have the attack at the basket and knocking down threes, they’re going to be tough to guard. They were pretty much knocking shots down from the perimeter and getting shots at the rim tonight.”