Hot Shooting From Bojan Bogdanovic Sparks Another Pacers Win
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INDIANAPOLIS – Victor Oladipo commits a season-high 10 turnovers.
Myles Turner scores just 5 points.
And the Pacers win?
Yep, that actually happened on Monday night, as the Pacers (37-27) ramped up the defensive intensity and got a hot shooting night from Bojan Bogdanovic.
That carried them to a 92-89 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks (34-20), giving Indiana the head-to-head tiebreaker that comes in handy as the Eastern Conference continues to muddy up.
“Victor and Myles didn’t have the best of games, but we had other guys step up and made enough plays to win this game,” head coach Nate McMillan said after Indiana climbed 10 games above .500 for the first time since 2013-14.
Bogdanovic was the star of that effort.
The sharpshooter tied a season-high with 29 points on just 13 shots (9-of-13 and 5-of-7 from three-point range).
Ever since a scoreless night on Jan. 31, Bogdanovic has found his shooting stroke again. He’s 48.6 percent from three in the last two months.
“After that game I was scoreless here against Charlotte, I was really, really pissed off,” Bogdanvoic said after scoring 29. “I just told myself to be aggressive. The team needs me, especially because I’m a starter and playing heavy minutes.”
Indiana was 10-of-17 from behind the arc on Monday, including 8-of-10 in the second half and used stifling defense to beat the Bucks for the second time in 4 nights.
Milwaukee’s duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo (18 points on 7-of-16 shooting) and Khris Middleton (6 points on 1-of-7 shooting) were held to 22 points under their combined season average.
After falling behind by 15 in the 3rd quarter, the Bucks went on a 19-5 run to keep things very competitive in the final quarter.
Another late fourth-quarter rally cut the lead to 90-89 with less than 30 seconds to go. But clutch defensive plays from Cory Joseph and Bojan Bogdanovic persevered the victory.
The duo forced a jump ball with 6 seconds to go, and Bogdanovic won the tip, before knocking down 2 free throws.
Leading by 3 points, the Pacers survived a miss three from Antetokounmpo at the buzzer, which would have sent the game into overtime.
With the win, Indiana has now won 3 in a row, all wins over current playoff teams.
The Pacers are sitting in the 4th position of the Eastern Conference, just a half game behind the division-leading Cavaliers with 18 games remaining.
What’s Next: The Pacers (37-27) are home for 3 games this week. They will next take on the Jazz (Wednesday) and Hawks (Friday).