MILWAUKEE, WI – The Indiana Pacers (19-19) are still coming up empty without their star player.
Victor Oladipo missed his fourth consecutive game with right knee soreness and the Pacers could not cope, losing 122-101 to the Milwaukee Bucks (20-16). The loss extends Indiana’s losing streak to a season-long five games. Also, the Blue and Gold are now 0-5 in games this season with Oladipo sidelined.
Milwaukee’s superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was dominant on Wednesday night. The Greek Freak scored a game-high 31 points, pulled down ten rebounds and dished out five assists to lead the Bucks to victory.
Indiana stumbled out of the gate yet again, as the Bucks built a 24-9 lead in Wednesday’s first quarter. The Pacers were able to trim Milwaukee’s lead down to eight at 34-26 by the end of the period, but nonetheless Indy found themselves in another early hole.
In the second quarter, Indy fell back behind by as many as 14 points. The Blue and Gold rallied, though, pulling as close as five points near the end of the first half. Milwaukee scored five points in the final 1:16, however, bulking their advantage back up to ten with to the tune of a 62-52 cushion at intermission.
Antetokounmpo, the NBA’s second-best scorer at 29 points a game, got his big night underway with an effective first half. He scored 21 points on 8-for-11 shooting, with six rebounds and two assists as well. Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers in scoring, posting 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting off of the bench. 12 of Sabonis’ 14 points came in the second quarter.
Indiana was never seriously in the game in the second half.
The Pacers got within eight points just over a minute into the third quarter, but the Bucks raced away after that. Milwaukee outscored Indy 31-24 in the third, giving the home team a comfortable 93-76 edge after three.
It got worse for Indiana in the fourth. The Bucks coasted to the win, expanding their lead up to 25 points before the night was done. The final margin was 21, Indy’s third straight loss of at least 12 points.
In addition to Antetokounmpo’s successful game, Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton scored 27 points. As for the Pacers, Sabonis finished with a career-high 24 points on 10-for-13 shooting. Darren Collison (17) and Lance Stephenson (15) also scored 15 or more points for the visitors.
Following Wednesday’s loss, the Pacers will limp home to begin a four-game homestand on Saturday. The first of four consecutive home games will come against the Chicago Bulls, with tipoff from the Circle City slated for 7:00 p.m.