Bucks fall to Pacers as new dad Giannis Antetokounmpo misses second straight game

Bucks fall to Pacers as new dad Giannis Antetokounmpo misses second straight game

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INDIANAPOLIS — Malcolm Brogdon flipped the script Wednesday night.

Rather than watch another late lead slip away, the Indiana Pacers guard found his finishing touch.

Brogdon thwarted Milwaukee’s charge with a nearly perfect fourth-quarter performance, helping the Pacers hold on for a 118-111 victory while snapping a season-worst six-game losing streak.

Milwaukee played its second straight game without All-Star captain Giannis Antetokounmpo following the birth of his first child. The Bucks had a five-game winning streak snapped and lost their first game against a Central Division foe this season after winning the first 11.

“I think my teammates rely on me and I think the past five games I haven’t been doing my job, calming the game down, finishing the game,” Brogdon said. “But tonight, I felt more like myself. My teammates trusted me with the rock.”

Brogdon made it pay off, too, with a rare victory over his former team which just happens to have the best record in the league at 46-8. He finished with 17 points and matched his career high with 13 assists, but saved his best for the final quarter when he scored 10 points, recorded five assists and made all four of his free throws.

Numbers only told part of the tale.

As Milwaukee methodically cut a 25-point first-half deficit to five early in the fourth, it seemed another game might get away from the Pacers. But Brogdon scored back-to-back baskets and found Jeremy Lamb for a layup.

“We kept fighting,” Donte DiVincenzo said after leading the Bucks with 19 points. “We had guys come in at the end and kept that energy high.”

When the Bucks made it 90-86 with 8:18 to go, Brogdon found Lamb and T.J. Warren for back-to-back 3-pointers and closed out the 10-0 run by making two free throws and a 14-foot runner to give Indiana a 100-86 lead with 6:19 to go.

Game over.

“I remember saying in the huddle, at the end of the day you know it’s a game of runs and we’ve just to go finish the game,” two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo said.

Warren led the way with 35 points as the Pacers ended a five-game home losing streak and a four-game skid in the series against the Bucks.

Yes, it helped that reigning league MVP Antetokounmpo sat out.

And the Pacers’ fast start didn’t hurt, either.

The difference this time: Indiana steadied itself when the Bucks got within 82-71 at the end of the third quarter and opened the fourth with six straight points before Brogdon became the closer.

Khris Middelton had 17 points, Eric Bledsoe finished with 15 points and Sterling Brown had 14 for the Bucks. DiVincenzo and Brown each had eight rebounds.

In the paint

The Bucks fell to 5-1 in games Antetokounmpo has missed this season. ... George Hill (strained left hamstring) and Kyle Korver (sore back) also missed the game. ... The Bucks have scored at least 100 points in 78 consecutive games, tied for the sixth-longest streak in NBA history. ... After scoring 68 points in the first half, the Pacers went 6 of 24 from the field in the third quarter. ... Milwaukee returns from the All-Star break Feb. 20 at Detroit.


Milwaukee 20 25 26 40 — 111

Indiana 34 34 14 36 — 118

MILWAUKEE — Ilyasova 3-10 5-5 12, Middleton 6-17 2-2 17, B.Lopez 3-9 5-6 12, Bledsoe 4-11 7-7 15, Matthews 2-8 0-0 5, Brown 5-9 3-3 14, Connaughton 2-5 0-0 6, Williams 3-4 2-2 9, R.Lopez 1-4 0-0 2, DiVincenzo 8-14 0-0 19. Totals 37-91 24-25 111.

INDIANA — Sabonis 4-15 7-10 15, Warren 16-19 2-2 35, Turner 6-13 0-0 14, Brogdon 6-13 4-4 17, Oladipo 5-7 2-3 13, Lamb 5-10 1-2 13, McDermott 1-3 0-0 3, J.Holiday 1-3 3-3 6, McConnell 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 45-86 19-24 118.

3-point goals — M 13-37 (DiVincenzo 3-7, Middleton 3-7, Connaughton 2-4, Ilyasova 1-2, Williams 1-2, B.Lopez 1-3, Brown 1-3, Matthews 1-5, Bledsoe 0-3), I 9-27 (Lamb 2-4, Turner 2-5, Oladipo 1-2, Warren 1-2, J.Holiday 1-3, McDermott 1-3, Brogdon 1-5, Sabonis 0-3). Rebounds — M 44 (Brown, DiVincenzo 8), I 44 (Turner 10). Assists — M 18 (Middleton 5), I 28 (Brogdon 13). Total fouls — M 21, I 21. Att. — 17,018.

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