Halliburton got help from Indiana’s reserves as the Pacers won 122-113, ending the Bucks’ home streak.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Tyrese Halliburton says the best thing about the Indiana Pacers is their depth.
That was certainly the case on Monday night as Indiana’s reserves led the Pacers to a 122-113 victory over Milwaukee, giving Halliburton a comfortable homecoming and ending the Bucks’ 15-game winning streak at the Fairgrounds.
Halliburton had 26 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, helping Indiana overcome Giannis Antetokounmpo’s triple-double. The Pacers outscored the Bucks 70-16 in bench points.
“We have a lot of people who can contribute,” said Halliburton, who grew up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, about 90 miles north of Milwaukee. “That’s the best thing about our team. Some nights the starting eleven keeps it going. On nights like that when we get out slow, our bench has to come in and get the game going.
Benedict Mathurin added 25 points and 13 rebounds, career bests, for Indiana, and Isaiah Jackson had 18 points and nine rebounds. T.J. McConnell, another reserve, had 16 points and nine assists.
He helped the Pacers win on a night when he made just 5 of 35 shots from 3-point range.
“I think we’re ready to hit a lot of threes,” McConnell said. “If we do a lot of that, we’re very hard to beat. But if we don’t do that, we usually find it hard to win. I wish this group my best. We just found a way, adapted it to our cold night shots and it happened.”
Antetokounmpo had 30 points, 18 rebounds and 11 assists for his 38th career triple-double and third of the season. The two-time MVP is averaging 46.3 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists in four games with Indiana this season, but the Bucks are 1-3 in those games.
They meet again in Indiana on Wednesday.
“We’ve got to figure it out,” Antetokounmpo said. “You never know. You can see them in the playoffs. We’ll see them again in two days. At the end of the day, it makes us better. It makes us better. We need to watch the tape. , “What we’re doing and trying to stop it. And if we can’t stop it, we might lose again.”
Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton each scored 21 points for the Bucks. Damian Lillard had 13 points while shooting 3 of 16 overall and 1 of 9 from 3-point range.
Trailing by 15 points in the third quarter, the Pacers went on a 19-5 run to take a 90-89 lead with a layup by Jackson with 10:12 left. The game was back-and-forth from there before McConnell scored six points during an 8-0 run to give Indiana a 109-101 lead with 3:59 left.
After Middleton hit a 3-pointer to end the run, Halliburton answered with two straight jumpers to make it 113-104. The Bucks scored five straight to cut the lead to 113-109, but Halliburton drove into the lane and scored on a three-point play with 1:20 left.
That allowed Indiana to hold onto the lead in that series, though Halliburton doesn’t want to call it a contest.
“This is a team that has been competing for championships for many years,” Halliburton said. “We are on the mend, but we are not there yet. Have great respect for them as a group. I don’t think I can really call it a contest anymore. But we’re going to play whoever we play, and we play those guys a lot throughout the year. We’ll be ready when we see them.
The Pacers won their first two meetings with the Bucks — including a victory in the regular-season tournament semifinals — with Antetokounmpo setting a franchise single-game record with 64 points in a 140-125 win over Indiana in December. 13.
The following December, the teams fought in the hallway leading to the Pacers’ locker room. 13 match ball controversy.
“This is a game that everybody was ready for and everybody was ready for,” Halliburton said. “I think his words, again, were that we weren’t physically ready for it (after the last game). I think we were ready today.
Indiana was without Bruce Brown for the fifth straight game with a right knee injury, and Andrew Nembard played just eight minutes before exiting with a sore back. The Bucks were without Marjon Beauchamp due to a non-COVID-19 injury.