INDIANAPOLIS, Nov 17 — Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 26 points and 13 rebounds last night as the Milwaukee Bucks ran off from the host Indiana Pacers for a comfortable, 102-83 victory in a duel between the Central Division’s top two teams.
The game was supposed to be a reunion between Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon and his former Bucks teammates, but Brogdon was a scratch with a sore back that also cut short his playing time Friday night at Houston. Brogdon left Milwaukee in an offseason sign-and-trade.
Indiana held a four-point lead late in the first period before Robin Lopez hit a pair of jumpers, one a 3-pointer, to give Milwaukee the lead for good.
The Bucks went on to lead 26-22 at quarter’s end, then by as many as 15 points in the second quarter en route to a 49-36 halftime advantage.
The Pacers, who had won four in a row before losing Friday at Houston, never got closer than seven in the second half.
Antetokounmpo’s game-high point total came on 10-for-17 shooting and 3-for-6 accuracy from 3-point range. He had entered the game shooting just 29.5 per cent on threes. The reigning Most Valuable Player also found time for a game-high six assists.
Brook Lopez finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and five blocks for the Bucks, who won their third straight and seventh in their last eight games.
Donte DiVincenzo, promoted to the starting lineup earlier in the week when Khris Middleton got injured, added 14 points, while Eric Bledsoe and Sterling Brown chipped in with 10 points apiece.
The Bucks outshot the Pacers 44.8 per cent to 32.0.
Myles Turner (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Domantas Sabonis (11 points, 14 rebounds) recorded double-doubles for the Pacers, who lost additional ground to the first-place Bucks with the defeat.
TJ Warren had 15 points and Aaron Holiday 11 for Indiana in a game that featured just 16 free throws, nine by the Pacers and seven by the Bucks.
Only 23 total fouls were called in the rapidly moving contest. — Reuters