NBA: Pacers’ strong fourth quarter ends loss string to Bucks
Andrew Nembhard scored 24 points and T.J. McConnell added 19 with 12 assists as the visiting Indiana Pacers took down the Milwaukee Bucks 139-123 in the NBA on Thursday night.
The Pacers used a very strong second half to take the victory, outscoring Milwaukee 84-59. Aaron Nesmith added 22 points, Buddy Hield scored 20 with six assists and Myles Turner scored 11 while grabbing eight rebounds. Tyrese Haliburton (right ankle sprain) was once again unavailable.
Milwaukee (50-20), without Brook Lopez for just the second game this season as well as Grayson Allen and Jae Crowder, was led by Giannis Antetokounmpo with 25 points and nine rebounds in just 27 minutes played due to foul trouble. Jrue Holiday added 19 with 11 assists and both Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis contributed 16 points.
The Bucks were in relative control in the first half, leading by 10 after the first quarter and by nine, 64-55 at halftime. Middleton paced the team with 12 points at the break with Antetokounmpo’s minutes limited.
T.J. McConnell was out there making moves tonight.👏
+ 36 (+/-) pic.twitter.com/Qt1nR3lCf5
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) March 17, 2023
In the third, the Bucks continued to hold a lead. However, it would quickly go south. Milwaukee was up 99-90 with just 2:46 to go in the third before Indiana (32-38) turned the tables, tying the game 101-101 going into the fourth and never looking back. Indiana scored 49 points in the third quarter.
The biggest factor in Indiana’s comeback and dominance late in the game was beyond the arc. The Pacers made eight of their 11 3-pointers in the third and continued their hot shooting in the fourth, ultimately finishing 22-for-46 from deep.
“It was a special second half, our levels of aggression and attitude were much, much better,” said Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle.
“It’s a great win.”
Indiana defeated Milwaukee for the first time since Feb. 12, 2020, ending a 10-game losing streak against their division rival. The season series now stands at 2-1 in favor of Milwaukee, with the fourth and final matchup set for March 29 at Indiana.