Something the Pacers have struggled with lately has been starting out well on both sides of the ball. Monday’s game against Milwaukee did not create that familiar situation, as Indiana jumped out to a large lead early in the game booting the Pacers to a 109-96 win over the Bucks.
The Pacers and Bucks were close for about six minutes into the first quarter and then the Pacers prevailed with a big scoring run. Up by just one-point with 6:08 left in the quarter, Indiana would go on a 22-2 to close out the quarter with a huge advantage. Their run was spurred by excellent defense forcing several misses and an offense knocking down just about everything. It was a 20-0 run until 25 seconds were left in the first when T.J. Leaf fouled Giannis Antetokounmpo sending him to the free throw line.
Indiana’s second quarter did not go as dominant as the first, but the Pacers still held a comfortable advantage. Indiana picked up right where they left off at the end of the first with a solid start to the second. After Milwaukee scoring the first three points of the quarter, the Pacers would go on an 11-1 run extending their lead to 27 with over seven minutes until halftime. A late two-pointer from Bojan Bogdanovic with 0:02 left on the clock would send Indiana into the break with a 16-point lead after outscoring the Bucks 27-22 in the second.
Milwaukee would cut down their deficit in the third and fourth quarters, but could not provide enough effort to slow down a sharp Pacers offense. The Bucks, however, would outscore the Pacers in the third 27-24, and 31-21 in the fourth.
Pacers Individual Player Performances
Domantas Sabonis – 17 points (8-12 FG, 1-1 3PT, 0-1 FT), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 24 minutes
Victor Oladipo – 15 points (6-11 FG, 1-5 3PT, 2-2 FT), 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 33 minutes
Thaddeus Young – 15 points (7-12 FG, 1-3 3PT, 0-1 FT), 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 31 minutes
Myles Turner – 15 points (7-10 FG, 0-1 3PT, 1-4 FT), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 3 blocks, 24 minutes
Darren Collison – 11 points (3-6 FG, 1-1 3PT, 4-4 FT), 2 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 28 minutes
Bojan Bogdanovic – 11 points (4-7 FG, 1-3 3PT, 2-2 FT), 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 22 minutes
Cory Joseph – 10 points (4-8 FG, 1-4 3PT, 1-2 FT), 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 28 minutes
The Pacers shot the ball 44-79 (55.7%) from the field, 7-22 (31.8%) beyond the arc, and 14-20 (70.0%) from the charity stripe. Additionally, Indiana dominated the Bucks just about everywhere else on the scoreboard. The Pacers hauled in 40 rebounds, dished out 30 assists, stole the ball 9 times, and blocked 5 shots. Milwaukee only produced 34 rebounds, 18 assists, 11 steals, and 4 blocks.
One key difference area between the Pacers and Bucks was scoring in the paint. Usually, Indiana does not fair as the better side simply because they are a perimeter and post shooting team. The Pacers however on Monday was the difference maker in the paint, scoring 60 of their 109 points from that area alone. The Bucks only relied on 42 of their 96 points from the area, which is surprising for a bigger lineup.
With the win, Indiana improves to 21-19 on the season winners of two straight games. It is worth noting Victor Oladipo missed four games in their five-game losing streak, and since his return, the Pacers are 2-0. Also another benefit from the win, Indiana avenged a loss last week to the Bucks on the road without Oladipo.
The Pacers will host the Miami Heat on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM Eastern. Justise Winslow and Dion Waiters are already ruled out for Miami while Indiana does not hold an injury designation. It’s likely going to be a big win for the Pacers against a short-handed Heat team.