US basketball

Giannis Antetokounmpo pours in 41 as Bucks bury Pacers

Giannis Antetokounmpo pours in 41 as Bucks bury Pacers

HUSTLE. Pacers guard Buddy Hield (left) and Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo fight for the ball.

Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks bank on a high-scoring first half to get past the Pacers

Giannis Antetokounmpo unloaded 41 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks held on for a 141-131 win over the host Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis on Friday night, January 27 (Saturday, January 28, Manila time).

In a scoring onslaught for Milwaukee, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton complemented Antetokounmpo with 23 and 17 points, respectively. Seven Bucks players scored in double figures, including Brook Lopez (15), Pat Connaughton (14), Jevon Carter (12), and Grayson Allen (13).

Myles Turner led the way for Indiana with 24 points, with Buddy Hield close behind with 22. Rookie Bennedict Mathurin also contributed 21, while TJ McConnell added 19. The Pacers were without Tyrese Haliburton for the ninth game in a row.

It was a three-point barrage early on as both teams combined to shoot 14-for-27 from beyond the arc in the first quarter alone. Wesley Matthews beat the buzzer to make it 45-30 Milwaukee.

Milwaukee used a strong second quarter to take a commanding 85-56 lead going into the break. It was the highest scoring first half of the season for the Bucks, as Middleton scored all 17 of his points in the half.

The Bucks at one point had a 33-point lead, but Indiana cut the deficit to 15 by the end of the third quarter. The Pacers were able to draw within just 7 in the fourth quarter when Mathurin’s basket trimmed the Bucks’ lead to 131-124 with 3:29 to play.

Allen sank a three-pointer with just over a minute to go to extend the lead to 12, icing the game for Milwaukee.

Hield, the NBA’s leader in three-point shots made, led all players with 5-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc.

The Bucks took a 2-0 season-series lead and won their 10th consecutive game against Indiana. Both teams return to action on Sunday as Indiana travels to Memphis and Milwaukee heads back home to take on New Orleans. –

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