Pacers overcome Giannis’ 54-point explosion to edge Bucks in thriller


The Indiana Pacers pulled off a stunning 126-124 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night, despite a season-high 54 points from reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Pacers rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, thanks to clutch performances from Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin.


Antetokounmpo is unstoppable, but not enough for the Bucks

Antetokounmpo was in a zone from the start, scoring 26 points in the first half and 20 more in the third quarter. He finished one point shy of his career-high and three points short of the franchise record set by Michael Redd in 2006. He also grabbed 12 rebounds and shot 19 of 25 from the field and 16 of 18 from the free-throw line.

However, the Greek Freak also committed eight turnovers, including two crucial ones in the final minute that cost the Bucks a chance to tie or take the lead. He threw away a pass with 1:03 left, then was stripped by Mathurin with 30 seconds to go, both with the Bucks trailing by one point.

The Pacers capitalized on Antetokounmpo’s mistakes, as Haliburton and Mathurin made four free throws in the closing seconds to seal the win. Khris Middleton, who had 19 points, made a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it was too late for the Bucks.

Haliburton and Mathurin shine for the Pacers

The Pacers had a balanced attack, with six players scoring in double figures. Haliburton led the way with 29 points and 10 assists, while Mathurin added 26 points and 11 rebounds. The rookie duo combined for 11 of the Pacers’ 20 3-pointers, as they shot 48% from beyond the arc.

Haliburton also hit the biggest shot of the game, a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:29 left that put the Pacers ahead 122-121. He then assisted on a Mathurin dunk that extended the lead to three with 49 seconds left.

Mathurin, who was tasked with guarding Antetokounmpo for most of the night, also came up with some big defensive plays. He blocked a shot by Middleton with 2:15 left, then stole the ball from Antetokounmpo with 30 seconds left. He also made two free throws with 8.4 seconds left to make it a three-point game.

Pacers bounce back from slow start

The Pacers started the game on fire, hitting eight 3-pointers in the first quarter and building an 18-point lead. They led 38-24 at the end of the period, with Myles Turner scoring 11 of his 21 points in the opening frame.

However, the Bucks responded in the second quarter, as Antetokounmpo scored 18 points and led a 9-0 run that cut the deficit to five. The Pacers managed to hold on to a six-point lead at halftime, 66-60.

The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair, with the Bucks taking their first lead of the game at 73-71 on a Middleton jumper. Antetokounmpo continued to dominate, scoring 20 points in the period, but the Pacers stayed close behind Haliburton and Mathurin, who combined for 21 points in the quarter. The Bucks led 98-94 entering the fourth.

The Bucks opened the final quarter with a 10-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Malik Beasley, who had 14 points off the bench. They led 108-96 with 9:04 left, but the Pacers did not give up. They went on a 15-4 run, sparked by three 3-pointers by Haliburton, to cut the lead to one, 112-111, with 5:51 left.

The game was tied at 119 with 2:01 left when Antetokounmpo made a free throw. He missed the second one, but grabbed his rebound and scored to put the Bucks up by two. However, Haliburton answered with a 3-pointer that gave the Pacers the lead for good, 122-121, with 1:29 left.

The Pacers improved to 6-3 with the win, while the Bucks fell to 5-3. The Bucks were without All-Star guard Damian Lillard, who missed the game with a right calf injury.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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