Andrew Nembhard, Bobby Portis
(NBAE/Getty Images)

Game Rewind: Pacers 92, Bucks 115 (Game 5)

Tuesday, April 30 at 9:30 PM ET at Fiserv Forum

Game Recap: Bucks 115, Pacers 92

Game Recap

The Milwaukee Bucks have extended their first-round playoff series with the Indiana Pacers to a Game 6, but now the Blue & Gold will have a chance to close out the first-round matchup at home.

With a 115-92 Game 5 victory over sixth-seeded Indiana on Tuesday at Fiserv Forum, the No. 3 Bucks narrowed the Pacers series lead to 3-2. Indiana can advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals by beating Milwaukee at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Thursday.

Including their regular season slate, Indiana’s 92 points are the fewest by the Pacers in a game for the 2023-2024 season. Indiana shot just 44.4 percent from the field, including 31.6 percent from 3-point range, while the Bucks made 52.4 percent of their shots.

After leading by as many as 10 points in the first quarter, a 17-point second frame put the Pacers behind 53-48 at halftime. Milwaukee then boosted its lead to 20 by outscoring Indiana 34-19 in the third quarter before holding on in the final frame.

Milwaukee was again without two superstars on Tuesday, as Giannis Antetokounmpo remained sidelined with a calf injury and Damian Lillard missed a second straight game for the Bucks due to an Achilles strain. Their status for the remainder of the series is unknown.

Tyrese Haliburton led the Pacers with 16 points and six assists, center Myles Turner logged 13 points, and Andrew Nembhard and Pascal Siakam each recorded 12 points for the Blue & Gold.

Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis each put up 29 points to lead the Bucks while pulling down double-digit rebounds, Malik Beasley scored 18 points and Patrick Beverly had 13 points and 12 assists.

"We’ve just got to understand that they’re a team that’s on the brink of their season being done," Haliburton said postgame. "They’re playing desperate, they’re playing hard, as they should be.  At the end of the day, they out-competed us tonight. They played harder, they played better. They kind of just dominated us in every facet of the game tonight. We’ve got to be better. It starts with me and that first group, but we’ve just got to be better top to bottom.” 

Indiana’s red-hot shooting from deep in Game 4 carried into the start of Game 5, as the Pacers made seven 3-pointers in the first quarter to lead 31-23.

Middleton scored 10 quick points by making a trio of field goals and free throws to start the game, but the Pacers answered with four 3-pointers, with two coming from Haliburton, during the same stretch to lead 16-14 midway through the period.

Out of a timeout, the Pacers extended their scoring streak to 12-0 thanks to two tough baskets by Turner, a step-back jumper from Nembhard, and a 3-pointer from Ben Sheppard, extending their advantage to 23-14.

In the last three minutes of the first quarter, Sheppard’s second 3-pointer of the night and a trey from Doug McDermott kept the visitors ahead by eight.

The Pacers cooled off in the second quarter, and the Bucks took advantage to lead 53-48 at halftime. Indiana shot 35 percent in the frame as they were outscored 30-17.

Milwaukee opened the second quarter on a 16-2 run, holding the Pacers to 1-for-8 shooting to start the frame, to retake the lead at 38-32 with 7:02 left in the half. 

Haliburton hit a 3-pointer and got a tear-drop floater to fall to stop the bleeding, but five points by Pat Connaughton and a 3-pointer by Beverley helped keep the Bucks ahead by five going into the locker room.

The Bucks opened the third quarter on a 10-2 run, with Middelton adding five more points to his total, before an 8-2 run where Brook Lopez scored three straight baskets extended the lead to 72-57 with 5:24 on the clock.

After the teams traded baskets for the next two minutes, Middleton got another basket to go and Beasley hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Bucks in front 82-63 with 2:08 left in the third quarter.

Going into the final frame, the Bucks led 87-67. 

In the final 12 minutes, the Pacers never cut the lead to single digits, emptying their bench with 4:55 remaining.

The Bucks outrebounded the Pacers 44-36 and outscored the Blue & Gold 50-42 in the paint. Indiana had just five fastbreak points in the loss.

“I thought one of the problems we had was that even when we got stops, we weren’t pushing the ball with the pace and speed that we needed to," Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. "We have to look at all that. But it’s a long series. We’re going to Game 6, and we’re going back home. We’ve got to get prepared for Thursday.”

The winner of the Indiana-Milwaukee series will face either the New York Knicks or Philadelphia 76ers in the East Semifinals, which will be on Monday, May 6. On Tuesday, the Sixers narrowed the series to 3-2 after beating the Knicks in overtime at Madison Square Garden.

Inside the Numbers

Indiana made seven 3-pointers in the first quarter and five for the rest of the game.

Three Bucks players recorded double-doubles: Patrick Beverley (13 points, 12 assists), Khris Middleton (29 points, 12 rebounds), and Bobby Portis (29 points, 10 rebounds). Indiana had none.

The Pacers shot 8-for-13 on free throws and the Bucks made 16 of 20.

Indiana finished with 12 turnovers and Bucks had 10.

Milwaukee had 16 second-chance points to Indiana’s nine.

On Tuesday, no Pacers player cracked 20 points for the first time this playoff series.

Indiana Pacers Postgame Media Availability vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Game 5) | April 30, 2024

You Can Quote Me On That

“After a good first quarter, things went very much downhill after that. Give the Bucks credit, they played hard. They played with a high compete level. We did some good things early. I don’t think we were playing with the kind of intensity that we needed to even though we had the lead. We paid the price. I haven’t watched the film yet, so I don’t have a total view of it. We just didn’t play with the consistent compete level we needed to. I will take the responsibility for that. I didn't’ have these guys ready the way they needed to be ready to play this game.” – Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle on Game 5

“They picked up their intensity. There were times when we had some good shots, but I need to look at the context with which the shots happened. But this series is about defense. Having them get to 115 and us 92, our defense needed to be better, our rebounding needed to be better. At halftime, we had seven out of 19 loose balls, and that’s just not close to being good enough. We’re going to have to do a lot better.” – Carlisle on the second and third quarters

“We just got stagnant, stopped making shots, and stopped playing our brand of basketball. Ultimately, kind of fell into the way they play - a little bit slower pace than we do. They controlled the pace tonight. Hell of a game tonight for a lot of their guys on their team, kudos to them for coming out and being ready. We’ve got to be ready for next game.” – Tyrese Haliburton on the loss

“We’ve just got to be prepared for whatever. I think the focus is more on us and being who we are. We just didn’t do that today. We’ve got to be better in Game 6.” – Haliburton on Game 6

“I thought that they played well. They got energy from the crowd and played well. I think we just gotta go back, get better … we’re home and get a win.” – Pascal Siakam on the loss

“It’s a series, it’s the playoffs. We won a couple, they got one. We’ve got to try and get the next one.” – Siakam on looking ahead

“I think when you get in situations like when you get your offense going, it’s easy to kind of have a little of a lull. Defensively it obviously wasn’t all there for us tonight. I think more than anything you have to embrace what’s in front of you, no matter what happens…We know nothing’s going to be handed to us, nothing’s going to be given to us. It doesn’t matter who they have out there. They are NBA players at the end of the day with a championship level of experience. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy.” -- Myles Turner on where things went wrong after a hot first quarter

“I think that was more us on ourselves as opposed to their defense. I think we settled. I think their defense enticed us to settle (for) some of those open-looking shots as opposed to those games where you have 30 assists or whatever it may be. That’s when you’re playing Pacers basketball. I think tonight we kind of got away from ourselves.” -- Turner on lack of attacking the pain

“They’re two All-Stars, so obviously they’ll require a level of attention. But more than anything, it doesn’t really change our approach. You have to be (conscious) of guys like that, but you can’t change the way you play basketball. We got here by playing Pacers basketball, so we’ve got to continue to play Pacers basketball. I think that was our problem tonight. We kind of got away from that.” -- Turner on the potential returns of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard

Stat of the Night

Indiana’s 92 points on Tuesday are the fewest by the team in a game this season (regular and playoffs).


  • Indiana has never lost a playoff series when leading 3-1. Just 13 teams in NBA history have come back from down 3-1.
  • The Pacers are 2-0 all-time in playoff series against the Bucks. Indiana previously beat Milwaukee in the first round in 1999 and 2000.
  • The last time the Pacers won a playoff series was in 2014, when they advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals by defeating Atlanta in the first round and Washington in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Up Next

The Pacers will return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host the Bucks for Game 6 on Thursday, May 2 at 6:30 PM ET. Find Tickets >>