Jrue Holiday recorded season-highs of 28 points and 14 assists and the Milwaukee Bucks extended their season-best winning streak to seven games with a convincing 140-113 triumph over the visiting Indiana Pacers on Monday night.
The Bucks played without two-time reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) but didn’t miss their star as they racked up 83 first-half points and led by as many as 27 points.
Khris Middleton registered 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Pat Connaughton contributed 20 points and nine rebounds to help Milwaukee win for the 12th time in the past 13 games.
Domantas Sabonis had 22 points and nine rebounds for Indiana, which fell for the ninth time in the past 13 games. Jeremy Lamb scored 21 points, Doug McDermott added 20 and Caris LeVert had 19.
Connaughton made a career-best six 3-pointers, Holiday made five, and Middleton and Bryn Forbes connected on four apiece for the Bucks, who were 24 of 39 (61.5 percent) from 3-point range.
Overall, Milwaukee made 57 percent of its field-goal attempts and owned a 55-41 rebounding edge. Bobby Portis had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Brook Lopez also scored 18 points, Forbes had 12 and Donte DiVincenzo matched his career-high of 13 rebounds.
The Bucks have made 45 3-pointers in two games against Indiana this season. Milwaukee has won seven of the past eight meetings.
T.J. McConnell had 13 points and seven assists and Goga Bitadze added 10 for the Pacers, who shot 40.5 percent from the field and made 12 of 50 from behind the arc.
The Bucks were 9 of 12 from 3-point range in the first quarter as they opened up a 48-27 lead. Lopez had 11 points and Holiday tallied 10 in the stanza as Milwaukee fell two points shy of the franchise record for opening-quarter points.
The onslaught continued in the second quarter as Milwaukee led by 25 early in the period before Indiana eventually pulled within 72-56 with 2:28 left. The Bucks answered with an 11-4 closing push to lead 83-60 at the break.
Milwaukee led 94-68 after Lopez’s basket with 7:21 left in the third quarter before the Pacers began chipping away with a 16-6 push to pull within 16. That also was the margin at the conclusion of the period with the Bucks leading 110-94.
Indiana moved within 13 points early in the final quarter before Milwaukee scored the next eight to make it 121-100 with 8:01 left and cruised to the finish.
–Field Level Media