NBA: Giannis Antetokounmpo pours in 41 in Bucks’ win
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 41 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks held on for a 141-131 win over the host Indiana Pacers on Friday night in Indianapolis.
In a scoring onslaught for Milwaukee, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton complemented Antetokounmpo with 23 and 17 points, respectively. Seven Bucks players scored in double figures, including Brook Lopez (15), Pat Connaughton (14), Jevon Carter (12) and Grayson Allen (13).
Antetokounmpo’s dominant performance, including a breathtaking fourth-quarter dunk over Oshae Brissett, came a day after he was confirmed as a starter and team captain for next month’s All-Star game, as the top vote-getter from the Eastern Conference.
It will be the third time the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player has had the honor, after leading teams in the mid-season exhibition in 2019 and 2020.
OH MY GOODNESS. 😳 pic.twitter.com/6NJGgvSlwp
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 28, 2023
Myles Turner led the way for Indiana with 24 points, with Buddy Hield close behind with 22. Rookie Bennedict Mathurin also contributed 21, while T.J. McConnell added 19. The Pacers were without Tyrese Haliburton for the ninth game in a row.
It was a 3-point barrage early on as both teams combined to shoot 14-for-27 from beyond the arc in the first quarter alone. Wesley Matthews beat the buzzer to make it 45-30 Milwaukee.
Milwaukee used a strong second quarter to take a commanding 85-56 lead going into the break. It was the highest scoring first half of the season for the Bucks, as Middleton scored all 17 of his points in the half.
The Bucks at one point had a 33-point lead, but Indiana cut the deficit to 15 by the end of the third quarter. The Pacers were able to draw within just seven in the fourth quarter when Mathurin’s basket trimmed the Bucks’ lead to 131-124 with 3:29 to play.
Allen sank a 3-pointer with just over a minute to go to extend the lead to 12, icing the game for Milwaukee.
Hield, the NBA’s leader in 3-point shots made, led all players with 5-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc.
The Bucks took a 2-0 season-series lead and won their 10th consecutive game against Indiana. Both teams return to action on Sunday as Indiana travels to Memphis and Milwaukee heads back home to take on New Orleans.