GAME RECAP: Bucks 102, Pacers 83

Giannis Antetokounmpo scores 26 points and grabs 13 rebounds as the Bucks beat the Pacers 102-83.

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GAME RECAP: Bucks 102, Pacers 83

Giannis Antetokounmpo scores 26 points and grabs 13 rebounds as the Bucks beat the Pacers 102-83.
Nov 16, 2019  |  00:01

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Nov. 16, 2019

November 16, 2019 - Myles Turner, Justin Holiday, and T.J. Warren respond to the 102-83 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Nov 16, 2019  |  01:48

Postgame: McMillan Press Conference - Nov. 16, 2019

Nov. 16, 2019 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan speaks with the media following Indiana's 102-83 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Nov 16, 2019  |  04:51

McDermott's Triple is Good

Nov. 16, 2019 - Doug McDermott knocks down the three.
Nov 16, 2019  |  00:07

Another Three from Turner

Nov. 6, 2019 - Myles Turner knocks down his second 3-pointer in the third quarter.
Nov 16, 2019  |  00:08

Turner for Three

Nov. 6, 2019 - Myles Turner drills the 3-pointer.
Nov 16, 2019  |  00:06

Sabonis for Three

Nov. 16, 2019 - Domantas Sabonis knocks down the open 3-pointer.
Nov 16, 2019  |  00:07

Turner with the Huge Block

Nov. 16, 2019 - Myles Turner comes away with an emphatic rejection of Wesley Matthews' shot.
Nov 16, 2019  |  00:06

Aaron Holiday Fakes the Pass for Three

Nov. 16, 2019 - Aaron Holiday gets the defender to bite by pump-faking a pass to his brother Justin, then knocks down the open 3-pointer.
Nov 16, 2019  |  00:08

Warren Hits the Three

Nov. 16, 2019 - Myles Turner dishes to T.J. Warren for the corner three.
Nov 16, 2019  |  00:07

Turner Gets the Pacers Started

Nov. 16, 2019 - Myles Turner drains the early three.
Nov 16, 2019  |  00:07

Pacers Going to Great Lengths to Fill Out Roster

by Mark Montieth
Pacers.com Writer
@MarkMontieth

When you're relying on Uber rides to complete a playing rotation, you know you're in trouble.

Naz Mitrou-Long and Bruce Bowen were getting ready to go to bed early Saturday morning after the Fort Wayne Mad Ants' 103-100 loss to the Maine Red Claws in Portland when the call came. They needed to get to Indianapolis to suit up for the Pacers. That night.

A two-hour Uber ride arrived at the Boston airport at 3 a.m., then a 6 a.m. flight took them to Indianapolis where they joined a shell of its former self Pacers team. There's not much time for sleep in an itinerary such as that, but that's the point of having two-way players such as Mitrou-Long and Bowen. They're like young emergency room doctors, always on call.

Mitrou-Long, in fact, was thrust into action. One night after scoring 28 points in a G League game in Maine he played 14 minutes and 23 seconds in an NBA game in Indiana. That as much as anything tells you the predicament the Pacers were in for their 102-83 loss to Milwaukee at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Mitrou-Long played 14 games for Utah last season and got in for the final 2 1/2 minutes of the Pacers' game against Oklahoma City on Tuesday, but is intended to play as many games as possible for Fort Wayne this season. He was needed on Saturday, however, because starting point guard Malcolm Brogdon suffered a strained back and backup T.J. McConnell suffered a strained groin in Friday's loss at Houston. That left Aaron Holiday as the only healthy point guard. And with Victor Oladipo, Jeremy Lamb, and Edmond Sumner already out, every warm and uninjured body was on call, especially point guards.

Combine all of that with poor shooting from four players expected to score and the outcome was inevitable. The Pacers hung in through three quarters, trailing by eight heading into the final period, but didn't have enough energy or accuracy to hold off the Bucks — especially the Giannis Antetokounmpo portion of them. The league MVP candidate finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists in 28 minutes.

The Pacers tried a few different defenders on him, but none looked like good options. Maybe there isn't one anymore, now that Antetokounmpo shows signs of becoming a 3-point threat. He hit three of them Saturday in six attempts.

The Pacers had no such weapon to match that. T.J. Warren, Domantas Sabonis, Aaron Holiday, and Doug McDermott combined to hit just 15-of-58 shots. Some of that can be explained by fatigue and some by the fact the Pacers had to roll out their sixth starting lineup in 13 games. Forget chemistry. Just putting healthy bodies on the court is challenge enough for the moment.

"Injuries," Nate McMillan said, pausing to search for the right words. "I mean...we're just having some bad luck."

"To put Aaron in that position, and your backup (Mitrou-Long) is a young kid...you're limited in what you can run."

Domantas Sabonis, Giannis Antetokounmpo

Photo Credit: Matt Kryger

The most positive development of the evening was that Myles Turner returned after an eight-game absence resulting from a sprained ankle — not only returned but played well, scoring a team-high 16 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking four shots.

Turner, in fact, played with more of a caution-to-the-win demeanor. He was returning from a long absence, the circumstances of the game were unusual, and expectations were low against a team as good as Milwaukee (9-3). He responded with an energetic and confident approach that he hopes to maintain.

"That's the approach I need to take," he said, soaking his feet in a bucket of ice in front of his locker. "Coach wants me to be aggressive, the team needs me to be aggressive. I think I rushed some of my shots a little bit, but I just want to be myself."

It was just the fifth time this season the long-awaited Turner-Sabonis tandem could be utilized, but wouldn't you know it? Sabonis is dealing with an injury now. He took a sore right hip into the game and it didn't get any better against the Bucks. He played 30 minutes and collected his seventh double-double with 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, but it was a struggle. He hit just 3-of-13 shots, missing several in traffic at the rim, and committed three turnovers.

He wasn't limping and offered no excuses afterward, but he had a heat pad on his hip while sitting on the bench during the game and was holding it with his hand as he walked through the locker room.

The Pacers play at Brooklyn on Monday. If they don't get any of the injured players back for that game there's a good chance they'll have a more complete roster in the following game on Saturday against Orlando. The four-day break between games next week will be as eagerly welcomed as Christmas break for grade schoolers.

"Much-needed," Turner said. "Guys are going to be able to get some rest. Get themselves right. It couldn't come at a better time."

Meanwhile, the Pacers will keep their Uber account handy.


Have a question for Mark? Want it to be on Pacers.com? Email him at askmontieth@gmail.com and you could be featured in his next mailbag.

Mark Montieth's book on the formation and groundbreaking seasons of the Pacers, "Reborn: The Pacers and the Return of Pro Basketball to Indianapolis," is available in bookstores throughout Indiana and on Amazon.com.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Mark Montieth are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.

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