The Indiana Pacers basketball team recorded their sixth victory in the North American NBA league after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 126:124 at home. Not even Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 54 points helped the guests. In the only game remaining, the Atlanta Hawks also held off the Orlando Magic in a close playoff game in Mexico thanks to Trae Young’s 41 points.
Indiana (6-3) and Atlanta (5-3) sit a high third and fifth in the Eastern Conference, sandwiched between Milwaukee (5-3) and Orlando sixth (4-4).
The Pacers are on a three-game winning streak. Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin and Myles Turner are most deserving of the last one. The former collected ten assists for 29 points, the latter collected 11 rebounds for 26 points, and Turner finished the game with 21 points.
Antetokounmpo shone for the visitors, scoring 54 points and missing only six shots from the field (19/25). He recorded 12 more rebounds in the statistics, but also eight turnovers. Two were especially key in the final drives after Haliburton’s 3-pointer for the lead.
Antetokounmpo is one point shy of his NBA career high and three shy of the Bucks franchise record held by Michael Redd.
“We had to deal with a player who was very hot and in his rhythm. I think we did a good job and created some chaos defensively. You have to take a little risk, otherwise he can score 60 points. We were lucky, that we pulled out the win,” admitted Indiana coach Rick Carlisle after the match.
Milwaukee played the match without Damian Lillard, who has an injured sword muscle.
In the only remaining game, Trae Young scored 41 points in Atlanta’s 120-119 victory over the Orlando Magic. He made 12 of 27 shots from the field, including 5 of 15 three-pointers. There was no basketball player in a particularly good mood at Orlando, Jalen Suggs was the only one to break the 20-point mark. He scored 21 with as many as six steals.
Dejounte Murray (16 points) scored the decisive three-pointer with 31 seconds left, and Paolo Banchero (17 points) missed the shot to win Orlando.
Atlanta played in Mexico for the first time, while the Magic already played two games there against the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz in December 2018. At that time, the Orlando basketball players won both games.
The following night, Slovenian ace Luka Dončić will be on the court again with the Dallas Mavericks (6-2). As part of the new NBA competition, they will face the Los Angeles Clippers (3-4) at home.
The Mavericks lost the first game in the so-called NBA Cup competition against the Denver Nuggets, while the New Orleans Pelicans and Houston Rockets are also in Group B in the West.