Game Rewind: Pacers 101, Bucks 83 (Preseason)

Game Recap

The Pacers gave their fans in Evansville plenty to cheer about in Wednesday's preseason game, opening up a huge halftime lead and rolling to a 101-83 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Ford Center. Rodney Stuckey scored 21 points off the bench and Lavoy Allen recorded a double-double as Indiana improved to 3-1 in the preseason.

Milwaukee took an early lead, with their starters jumping out to a 19-13 advantage over Indiana's first five. But once the Pacers started subbing in members of their second unit, things changed in a hurry.

In fact, the Pacers outscored Milwaukee 49-12 over the rest of the half and 33-10 in the second quarter to take a 31-point lead into the locker room.

Sixth man Rodney Stuckey got Indiana's offense rolling, but it was the Pacers' defense that really allowed them to blow open the game. The Blue & Gold scored the last nine points of the first quarter and the first six points of the second, shutting out the Bucks for a nearly six-and-a-half minute stretch.

But Indiana's lockdown defense wasn't just confined to that one period. They were dominant throughout the second quarter, limiting Milwaukee to just 4-of-16 shooting and forcing eight turnovers.

"I thought our second unit came in and really did a nice job of getting stops and getting out in transition," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said.

Added second-year center Myles Turner: "We got like — I think it was nine or 10 stops in a row. And then we were just answering, firing on all cylinders."

Stuckey continued his stellar preseason play off the bench in the first half, scoring 12 points in as many minutes on 3-of-5 shooting (2-of-2 from 3-point range) and dishing out five assists.

The Pacers' offense cooled a bit after halftime as they hit just 5-of-17 shots in the third quarter as Milwaukee shaved 13 points off the lead. But the margin proved to simply be too much for the Bucks to overcome, as Indiana maintained a double-digit lead all the way up until the final buzzer.

Stuckey led all scorers with 21 points, while making all four of his 3-point attempts on the night. Whether he was knocking down jumpers or getting to the rim, the veteran guard had his way on the offensive end.

"That's what Coach has been emphasizing since day one," Stuckey said. "He always wants us in attack mode, just to be aggressive, look for our shots."

Allen added 12 points and 11 rebounds (seven of them offensive) off the bench. Jeff Teague led the starters with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting, while Glenn Robinson III added 11 to join him in double figures.

The Pacers did all this without their top two small forwards. All-Star Paul George was held out of the game due to strep throat, while backup C.J. Miles also did not play due to a sore left knee.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 20 points, five rebounds, and six assists, but also committed four turnovers. John Henson and Jabari Parker each added 11 points for the Bucks in the loss.

The Pacers will practice in Evansville on Thursday before flying to Orlando for their fifth preseason contest on Friday night against former Pacers head coach Frank Vogel and the Magic.

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers outscored the Bucks 17-8 in fastbreak points and 13-2 in second chance points.

Veteran big man Al Jefferson failed to score in double figures for the first time in four preseason games, finishing with just four points on 2-of-7 shooting. Jefferson did, however, register 10 rebounds — his second preseason contest with 10 or more boards.

Turner saw his most extensive action of the preseason, logging over 24 minutes on the court. Turner finished with nine points on 4-of-8 shooting, eight rebounds, and two blocks.

McMillan told his team heading into Wednesday that he wanted to see them do a better job of defending without fouling. They did that in the first half, where they held the Bucks to just 11 free throw attempts, but they put Milwaukee on the line 20 times over the final two quarters.

Despite the loss, the Bucks outscored Indiana 42-32 in the paint.

You Can Quote Me On That

"He played so hard that he was just gassed. The first half, he came in and really gave us a lift with his defense, pushing the ball, attacking, getting to the basket. The second half, he tried to do the same thing. That's what we want our guys to do — play to exhaustion...once we get all our guys playing like that, it's going to put a lot of pressure on our opponents." -McMillan on Stuckey's performance

"Stuckey's been huge this whole camp...He's just been so much more aggressive, he's carrying that second unit, and he's making great plays." -Turner on Stuckey

"We're still trying to come together as one and all be on the same page, but I thought we took a step forward today." -Stuckey

"I think that's the biggest key to getting deep in the playoffs and fighting for a championship, you've got to have a deep bench." -Jefferson on Indiana's depth

"Any time you get a chance to go to the cities that don't see a lot of games is always good. Especially Indiana, because this is a basketball state...I know they really appreciate it." -Jefferson on playing in Evansville

Stat of the Night

The Pacers' bench put up some gaudy +/- numbers, thanks in large part to their first-half performance. Indiana was +24 with Stuckey in the game on Wednesday and +21 with both Jefferson and Allen on the floor.


  • The Pacers played 14 of their 17 healthy players on Wednesday. Only Jeremy Evans, Kevin Seraphin, and Nick Zeisloft failed to enter the game.
  • Miles Plumlee and Orlando Johnson, the Pacers' two picks in the 2012 NBA Draft, are both on Milwaukee's training camp roster.
  • The Ford Center was at full capacity for Wednesday's exhibition, the first NBA game in Evansville since 1997. The listed attendance was 6,447.

Up Next

The Pacers will travel to Orlando to take on the Magic on Friday, Oct. 14 at 7:00 PM. Their final preseason contest is on Oct. 19 in Milwaukee, one week before their regular season opener against the Dallas Mavericks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Oct. 26.


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