NBA playoffs

Pacers earn 3-1 lead as Bucks miss stars Lillard, Antetokounmpo


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Pacers earn 3-1 lead as Bucks miss stars Lillard, Antetokounmpo

TANDEM. Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) celebrates a made basket during Game 4 of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Pacers pounce on the undermanned Bucks, who lose Bobby Portis to an ejection in addition to the absences of injured stars Damian Lillard and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo

Myles Turner scored 29 points and Tyrese Haliburton added 24 to fuel the Indiana Pacers to a 126-113 victory over the undermanned Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference first-round series in Indianapolis on Sunday, April 28 (Monday, April 29, Manila time).

Turner sank seven three-pointers for the sixth-seeded Pacers, who shot 51.2% from beyond the arc and 51.7% overall to seize a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series. Game 5 is Tuesday in Milwaukee.

“We’re not done yet,” Haliburton told Bally Sports Indiana. “Series is far from over. … Just play hard, play the right way, play through everything that’s going to be thrown at us, whatever that is. Keep our composure through everything; just stay together as a group.”

Haliburton made five three-pointers despite being added to the injury report as questionable approximately 90 minutes before tipoff due to a balky back. He avenged an abysmal 1-for-12 performance from beyond the arc in Indiana’s 121-118 overtime victory in Game 3 on Friday.

Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez recorded 27 points and 9 rebounds, while Khris Middleton added 25 and 10, respectively.

Malik Beasley added 20 points for the third-seeded Bucks, who were short-handed due to the early ejection of Bobby Portis in addition to the absences of injured stars Damian Lillard and two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Lillard aggravated his Achilles late in the fourth quarter of Friday’s game, while Antetokounmpo has been sidelined since straining his left calf in a game on April 9.

Lopez’s putback trimmed Indiana’s lead to 67-66 early in the third quarter before Haliburton drained three consecutive three-pointers to stake the Pacers to a 10-point lead. Milwaukee countered with a 10-5 run, highlighted by Lopez’s pair of three-pointers, but Indiana scored 14 of the next 16 points.

“Beginning of the second half, we made it a better adjustment to shift our focus a little bit (from the officiating to the team’s performance),” said Indiana coach Rick Carlisle after a tight first half that closed with the Pacers leading 67-64. “Going into Game 5, it’s gotta be very much the same.”

The Bucks trailed 98-85 after three quarters but trimmed their deficit to 6 points. Turner answered with a long-range jumper and two three-pointers to push Indiana’s lead to 108-94 with 7:27 remaining in the fourth quarter.

“I was able to get hot tonight,” said Turner. “Hopefully keep doing this the entire playoffs.”

The Pacers were not seriously threatened the rest of the way.

Portis was ejected after drawing two technical fouls on the same play with 5:01 remaining in the first quarter. Portis and Nembhard were whistled for technicals after exchanging shoves, but the former picked up another after slapping the latter in the head.

“It was a tough break for us, no doubt about it,” Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers said about Portis’ ejection. “It doesn’t matter how long you’re in the league, you can still learn. All of us can. It will probably be a lesson for Bobby and for all of the young guys. Playoff games are high emotion, they really are. So that happened, and you can’t get it back once it happens.” –

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