Pacers Dominate Bucks Behind Balanced Effort
Andy Lyons | Getty Images
INDIANAPOLIS – Monday night brought another Pacers’ game, and it was another chance for Victor Oladipo to show his ‘value’ in the MVP-type presence he brings to Indiana’s team.
Oladipo’s numbers weren’t eye-popping on Monday (15 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds), but there’s no denying how the Pacers play when he is on the floor.
Indiana is now 21-14 this year with Oladipo, and 0-5 without him.
Monday’s victory was impressive, with the Pacers beating a Bucks’ team they’ve recently struggled to best.
The 109-96 victory was nowhere near as close as the final score indicated.
Playing at home for a second straight game, the Pacers had 30 assists and shot a blistering 55.7 percent from the field.
Indiana pulled away from Milwaukee early on with a 20-0 run in the first quarter.
A 26-point halftime lead for the Pacers came after a 27-point lead at intermission in Saturday night’s victory over the Bulls.
The Pacers did a stellar job in limiting Bucks’ star Giannis Antetokounmpo (17 points on 3-of-8 shooting), who snapped a streak of 28 straight games with at least 20 points.
Domantas Sabonis led 7 Pacers in double figures with 17 points. In the last 3 games, Sabonis is shooting 73 percent from the floor (27-of-37).
Monday’s victory for the Pacers was key as they try and fight for positioning in a crowded Eastern Conference.
The Bucks (21-18) and Pacers (21-19) have split games against each other over the past week and will play two more times in early March.
“We want to be a playoff team,” Darren Collison said after Monday’s victory. “We have to make our statements against these teams that we are playing. Milwaukee is a very well coached team. They have good players on their team, an All-Star in Giannis (Antetokounmpo) but if we want to make our mark in this league, especially in the Eastern Conference, we have to beat teams like that.”
What’s Next: The Pacers have 2 games left on their 4-game homestand, before heading west for 5 straight: Miami (Wednesday) and Cleveland (Friday).