The Pacers Torched The Shorthanded Bucks From Three To Go Up 3-1

The Indiana Pacers are one game away from the second round of the playoffs after winning their third consecutive game over the Milwaukee Bucks, taking Game 4 thanks to a hot shooting night that led them to a XXX-XXX win.

The Bucks came into the game shorthanded, with Damian Lillard (Achilles strain) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf strain) both out for the night, and things went from bad to worse in the early going when Bobby Portis got tossed after getting in a scrap with Andrew Nembhard in the first quarter.

Even with Portis adding to their roster crunch, the Bucks were able to hang around thanks to Brook Lopez turning the clock back to his Nets days and Khris Middleton continuing his strong play from Game 3. The Pacers could only open up a 67-64 lead despite a strong offensive half, as the defense wasn’t able to string together stops.

Indiana opened things up in the third quarter, though, as they continued to rain threes down on the Bucks. Tyrese Haliburton broke out of his shooting slump (5-of-12 from three) and Myles Turner (7-of-9 from deep) was sensational to lead the way offensively, but the Pacers also finally started to get some stops on the defensive end to open up a 17-point lead.

During that run, Turner authored the highlight of the night when he threw down a wild finish on Brook Lopez that caused an eruption in the arena.

Despite all of that, the Bucks continued to fight, chipping away to get the lead back down to six in the early fourth quarter thanks to the continued efforts of Middleton (who aggravated his left ankle but quickly returned to the game) and Lopez.

Ultimately, the Bucks just did not have the firepower on the night to keep up with a hot shooting Pacers squad. Turner continued to pour in threes and eventually the benches were emptied after a dagger with just over two minutes to play.

All five Pacers starters reached double figures in scoring, led by Turner’s 29 and Haliburton’s 24. As a team they shot 22-of-43 from three, including four players hitting three or more from deep. Milwaukee got 52 from Lopez and Middleton, with Malik Beasley chipping in 20, but they simply could not keep up on a night Indiana shot over 50 percent from three.

Now the series shifts back to Milwaukee for a win-or-stay-home Game 5 for the Bucks. The statuses of Giannis and Lillard loom large for that game, and if the stars aren’t back for Milwaukee it’s hard to see how this series returns to Indiana.