GAME RECAP: Pacers 118, Bucks 111
T.J. Warren scores 35 points as Indiana beat Milwaukee, 118-111.
T.J. Warren scores 35 points as Indiana beat Milwaukee, 118-111.
T.J. Warren, Domantas Sabonis, and Victor Oladipo speak to the media following Indiana's 118 - 111 win over Milwaukee.
Feb. 12, 2020 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan speaks with the media following Indiana's 118-111 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
T.J. Warren scored 35 points on 16-of-19 shooting in Indiana's 118-111 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
February 12, 2020 - Myles Turner gets his defender in the air and drives in for the layup.
February 12, 2020 - T.J. Warren hits the clutch three with a defender in his face.
February 12, 2020 - Malcolm Brogdon sets up Jeremy Lamb for the easy layup.
Warren Turns Defense to Offense
February 12, 2020 - Victor Oladipo receives the pass on the run and knifes through the defense for the finish.
February 12, 2020 - Myles Turner spots up a few feet beyond the 3-point line and drills it.
February 12, 2020 - T.J. McConnell gets the steal and takes it down the floor for the bucket.
February 12, 2020 - Malcolm Brogdon starts the fastbreak and dumps it off to Victor Oladipo for the dunk.
February 12, 2020 - Victor Oladipo drives it from beyond the 3-point line and hits the layup plus the foul.
February 12, 2020 - Malcolm Brogdon pulls off the crossover to create space and hits the midrange jumper.
February 12, 2020 - T.J. Warren gets the deflection, comes up with the ball and converts the fastbreak dunk.
Game Rewind: Pacers 118, Bucks 111
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 7:30 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
In the Pacers' final game before the much-needed All-Star break, head coach Nate McMillan gave the team one simple message — play a full 48 minutes.
On its six-game losing skid, Indiana had lost each game during crunch time of the fourth quarter.
But not tonight.
Up by eight with 1:21 to play, T.J. Warren reeled off a personal 6-2 run to put Milwaukee away in crunch time. The Blue & Gold's leading scorer for the year finished with a game-high 35 points on a stellar 16-of-19 from the floor to lead Indiana (32-23) to a 118-111 victory over the NBA's top team, the Milwaukee Bucks (46-8).
The Pacers shot a blistering 26-of-42 (61.9 percent) from the floor in the first half, including 15-of-24 (71.4 percent) in the first quarter, to take a 68-45 lead into halftime. The smothering defense forced 11 first-half turnovers, including eight steals, while limiting the Bucks to 15-of-42 shooting (35.7 percent) for the half. Milwaukee connected on just three of their first 14 shots.
But after a sluggish third quarter, the Blue & Gold appeared to be headed down an all-too-familiar path. The path became even more inviting as Milwaukee cut the lead to four with 8:57 to go.
But a 12-4 run from the squad, followed by Warren's late spree helped the Blue & Gold into the winner's column.
"Coach called timeout, and rallied (us), like, we're still up" Domantas Sabonis said after the Bucks threatened. "Things aren't going our way, but we're still up. We just got to — no matter how — just get it done. You know, coach was saying believe, and I felt like we believed. And we got the necessary stops and executed on offense at the right time to build that lead."
Six Pacers scored in double figures. Malcolm Brogdon notched a double-double, recording 17 points and a game-high 13 assists. Domantas Sabonis added 15 and eight boards. Myles Turner also finished with a double-double, recording 14 points and 10 boards. Additionally, Victor Oladipo and Jeremy Lamb tallied 13 points apiece.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) February 13, 2020
Indiana raced out to an 8-3 lead in the first 1:42 of the game behind stellar defense and six early points from Warren. With 10:18 to play, N.C. State forward picked the pocket of Khris Middleton and finished with an easy two-handed flush to force Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer to call an early timeout.
With 5:19 to play, Oladipo wowed the crowd with a thunderous slam off a back pass from Brogdon. The flush extended the Pacers lead to 19-7.
Later, Turner began to heat up. The big man connected on three consecutive buckets, including a three from the right wing, to maintain a double-digit lead for Indiana, 26-11, with 3:37 left in the frame.
As time ticked down, Justin Holiday and Doug McDermott connected on triples, while Lamb sank a right-handed floater from the left block to take a 34-20 lead into the second quarter.
Just 47 seconds into the second, the Pacers managed to stretch their lead to 19 before Ersan Ilyasova connected on a pair of free throws for the Bucks. At the 9:45 mark, Indiana finally extended its lead to 45-25 behind a baseline triple from Lamb.
From there, the Pacers continued to play lights-out on the defensive end while extending their lead. The Blue & Gold held the Bucks to just two points over the next 3:07 of the frame, and the squad earned a 51-27 lead before a Donte DiVincenzo dunk ended Milwaukee's scoring drought.
Later in the period, the Bucks used a 10-2 run, seven from 11-year veteran Brook Lopez, to claw back to within 16. However, with 2:03 remaining, Oladipo ended the spree by finishing a nifty one-handed, finger-roll layup to put Indiana up 61-43.
The Blue & Gold finished the half strong, reeling off a 7-2 run to close out the half.
But then cracks started showing. The Pacers failed to find the net for the first 2:59 of the period. Five unanswered from Milwaukee to start the scoring trimmed Indiana's lead to 18 before Oladipo sank a trey to put the Pacers up 71-50.
Luckily for Indiana, Milwaukee found itself also struggling from the floor. Despite having a few wide-open, potentially momentum-swinging looks from deep, the Bucks shot just 3-of-14 from the field through the first five minutes of the period.
Neither team managed to make a significant run by the midway point of the period. After Pat Connaughton airmailed a three, Sterling Brown found an easy offensive rebound to trim Indiana's lead to 77-60 with 4:03 remaining. But Brogdon soon responded with a three from the left wing to put Indiana back ahead by 20.
But after Brogdon's three with 3:41 left in the third, the Blue & Gold entered another scoreless spell; this one lasting 2:13. The Bucks slowly chipped away at the Pacers' lead. Back-to-back threes from Brown and Marvin Williams cut Indiana's lead to 14 before Warren ended the spree with a jumper.
After Warren's jumper, the Bucks tallied five more unanswered, including a deep three from Middleton with 3.0 seconds remaining, to trim Indiana's lead to 82-71 before the teams headed into the final period. The Pacers were outscored 26-14 in the quarter.
Six unanswered Bucks points to start the fourth quarter cut Indiana's lead to just five with 10:50 remaining. On several occasions, Milwaukee found success driving into the heart of Indiana's defense and finishing in the paint.
Brogdon stopped Milwaukee's hot streak briefly, finding two buckets and throwing a beautiful pass to Lamb for an easy finish to give Indiana a 88-79 lead with 9:35 to play.
But the Bucks kept on charging into the paint and getting to the charity stripe. Eric Bledsoe finished a three-point play, while Brown followed with a pair of free throws to cut Indiana's lead back to four, 88-84, with 8:57 to go.
But the Blue & Gold would not surrender.
Brogdon and Warren then combined for nine points of a 12-4 run over a 3:38 span to extend Indiana's lead to 100-88 heading into crunch time.
Then, with 5:19 to play, the defense clamped down, limiting the Bucks to just three points for the next 3:05 to hold on to a 106-91 lead.
But the Bucks would not go down easy. A three from DiVincenzo, followed by six straight from Ilyasova, trimmed Indiana's lead back down to 108-100 with 1:21 to play.
But Warren made sure that would be the closest Milwaukee would get. The elite scorer sank two buckets and a pair of free throws to lead a personal 6-2 spurt that sealed the win.
Warren then completed his night with a cathartic dunk with 35.2 seconds remaining. After a six-game losing streak, the Blue & Gold are entering crunch time of the regular season on a high note.
Inside the Numbers
Indiana outscored Milwaukee 54-42 in the paint.
Indiana finished the game shooting 52.3 percent from the field. The Pacers are 17-6 this season when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.
The Pacers forced 18 turnovers and matched their season high with 33 points off those mistakes.
You Can Quote Me On That
"It's good to have a guy who can make a basket when you need it. To have the options we have out there, we're just taking advantage of matchups. Now with this group together, we can go a number of different places, whether it's Malcolm or Victor or Domas or Warren. He had some good things going and did a good job of being consistent with his attack." –Pacers head coach Nate McMillan on the play of T.J. Warren tonight
"Just want to come out with a sense of urgency. We wanted to come out hungry. We've been down a little bit. So, we just wanted to get back on the right track. And we did that tonight." –T.J. Warren on how he has come back from his injury so focused
"I feel like my body has gone through a lot the last couple weeks, with a concussion and strep throat. Tonight I felt more like myself." –Malcolm Brogdon on his play tonight
Stat of the Night
T.J. Warren fell one point shy of his season high with 35 points as he shot 16-for-19 from the field. His 84.2 percent field goal percentage is the highest mark in Pacers NBA franchise history among players who have made at least 16 field goals in a game.
Previously, Butch Carter hit 17-of-21 (.810) field goal attempts against Dallas on Jan. 23, 1983.
- For the first time this season, Milwaukee fell to a Central Division opponent. Entering tonight's action, they were 11-0. Dating back to last season, the Bucks are 25-3 against Central Division opponents.
- After experiencing the birth of his first child on Monday, Bucks star forward and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo did not participate in tonight's game.
- Indiana earned its first win over Milwaukee this season in three tries and snapped a four-game losing streak to the Bucks.
After the All-Star break, the Pacers will embark on a two-game road trip, which begins on Friday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 PM ET against the New York Knicks.
The Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host Cody Zeller and the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »
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