NBA playoffs

Pat Bev show: Injury-riddled Bucks ride stunning Game 5 blowout of Pacers


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Pat Bev show: Injury-riddled Bucks ride stunning Game 5 blowout of Pacers

STRAIGHT DOG. Milwaukee Bucks guard Patrick Beverley (21) catches the ball while Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell (9) defends during game four of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Khris Middleton, Bobby Portis, and Patrick Beverley command the Milwaukee Bucks to a 115-92 stunner over the Indiana Pacers even without top stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard

Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis scored 29 points apiece and the injury-riddled Milwaukee Bucks stayed alive with a 115-92 victory over the visiting Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night (Wednesday, May 1, Manila time) in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

Portis made 14 of 24 field-goal attempts and collected 10 rebounds. Middleton had 12 rebounds and five assists as Milwaukee cut its deficit to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.

The Bucks controlled the contest despite both Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf) and Damian Lillard (Achilles) sitting out. Antetokounmpo has missed the entire series and Lillard has sat out the past two games.

“I told our coaches we were coming to play and win tonight,” Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers said after the game. “That was not a team walking through the walkthrough thinking this was it. That was a team thinking it could win, and it showed.”

Tyrese Haliburton scored 16 points and Myles Turner added 13 for Indiana. Pascal Siakam, Andrew Nembhard and Obi Toppin had 12 apiece.

Game 6 is Thursday night in Indianapolis.

“I think we have to understand they’re a team on the brink of their season being done. They’re playing desperate, they’re playing hard,” Haliburton said.

“At the end of the day, they just outcompeted us (Tuesday), they played harder, they were better and they dominated us in every facet of the game. We have to be better, top to bottom.”

Malik Beasley scored 18 points and joined Middleton in making four 3-pointers. Patrick Beverley recorded 13 points and 12 assists, and Brook Lopez had 12 points for the Bucks.

Milwaukee outscored Indiana 64-36 over the two middle quarters to take control.

The Bucks shot 52.4 percent from the field, including 11 of 29 from 3-point range.

Milwaukee opened the third quarter with nine straight points to turn a five-point advantage into a 62-48 lead on Middleton’s driving layup.

Indiana moved within nine on Nembhard’s layup with 6:46 left in the quarter. Lopez scored the Bucks’ next four points and Portis later added a layup to give Milwaukee a 72-57 lead with 5:25 remaining.

Later in the quarter, Beasley knocked down two 3-pointers in a span of 27 seconds as Milwaukee opened up an 82-63 lead with 2:09 left.

The Bucks led 87-67 entering the final stanza and received a 3-pointer from Beasley and a layup from Lopez to push the lead to 25 with 11:07 left in the game.

Indiana went on a 9-2 run to move within 18 with 8:42 remaining, but Beasley answered with a 3-pointer to give Milwaukee a 97-76 lead with 8:21 to go.

Portis later scored six points during an 8-0 burst that saw the Bucks push the lead to 107-80 with 4:27 to play.

The Pacers made 44.4 percent of their attempts from the field and hit 12 of 38 shots from behind the arc.

Middleton scored 17 points in the first half as Milwaukee led 53-48 at the break. Haliburton scored 11 points in the half for the Pacers.

Indiana led by as many as 10 in the opening quarter before settling for a 31-23 lead.

The Bucks outscored the Pacers 30-17 in the second quarter, with Beverley leading the way with 12 points. –

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