INDIANAPOLIS – On Saturday night, the Indiana Pacers (21-19) snapped a five-game losing streak with authority. On Monday night, they made it two convincing wins in a row.
Indy was beaten badly by the Milwaukee Bucks (21-18) five days ago, but returned the favor with a 109-96 victory that really wasn’t that close.
The Pacers last trailed Milwaukee, 10-8 with 7:51 to go in the first quarter and never fell behind again.
Indiana forced eight turnovers and blocked five shots in Monday’s opening quarter, setting the tone for a great beginning. A 20-0 run helped, too, as the Blue and Gold turned a 15-14 advantage into a 35-14 one. Indy led 37-16 after one.
The ballgame was just about decided after that 20-0 outburst. The Pacers kept rolling in period number two, expanding their lead to as many as 27 before going into the half with a comfortable 64-38 edge.
Indiana shot a staggering 65% from the field in the first half, compared to Milwaukee’s 32%.
The Pacers were in complete control out of the break, as well, building a game-high 29-point advantage midway through the third quarter. Indy’s lead was 23 after three at 88-65.
Monday’s fourth quarter was mainly played by reserves on both sides and with a big lead, Indiana eased up a bit late. That allowed the Bucks to get as close as nine points in the closing moments of the game, but it was too late for the visitors. The Pacers hung on for the 13-point win despite being outscored 31-21 in the fourth.
Balanced scoring was the name of the game for Indy in this one.
Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers with 17 points and 10 rebounds off of the bench on Monday, one of seven Pacers to score in double figures. Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner and Thaddeus Young also scored 15 points each.
As for the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo was held in check. Milwaukee’s star burnt the Blue and Gold for 31 points and nine boards in last week’s contest, but was held to 17 points and seven rebounds on this night. 11 of his 17 points came from the foul line.
Indiana’s homestand continues on Wednesday night, with sights set on a third consecutive win. The Miami Heat will be in town for a 7:00 p.m. tip.