INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Thaddeus Young had 25 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, and Myles Turner added 23 points to lead the Indiana Pacers to their fifth straight win — 113-97 over Milwaukee on Wednesday night.
Indiana seized control early, never trailed and pulled within a half-game of the Central Division-leading Bucks.
Eric Bledsoe scored 26 points and Malcolm Brogdon finished with 15 to lead Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a season-low 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dealt out seven assists after missing Monday’s game at Cleveland with a sore neck.
But even with the return of Milwaukee’s best player, the NBA’s highest-scoring team struggled against the No. 1-ranked scoring defense.
As a result, Indiana took control early and was never seriously challenged after retaking a double-digit lead early in the second quarter.
The Bucks came into the game with the league’s second-best record and as the top rebounding team — and they sure didn’t look like it.
Indiana scored the first six points and built a 22-9 lead less than five minutes into the game. When Milwaukee cut the deficit to 25-23 late in the first quarter, the Pacers answered with a 12-2 run.
Then, after taking a 58-43 halftime lead, the Pacers extended the margin to as much as 64-43 early in the third.
Milwaukee finally cut the deficit to 101-93 on Eric Bledsoe’s 19-foot jumper with 4:25 left in the game, but Turner hit his career-high-tying fourth 3 and Victor Oladipo made a 12-footer to give the Pacers a 106-93 cushion.
The Bucks couldn’t get closer than 11 the rest of the game.
Oladipo wound up with 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists after missing the previous 11 games with a sore right knee.
Bucks: Scored a season-low 43 points in the first half. Their previous low was 45. ... Antetokounmpo didn’t make a basket until scoring on a layup with 1:44 left in the first half. He was 4 of 7 from the field. ... After out-rebounding the Pacers 50-41 in their first meeting, Indiana dominated the glass 55-43. ... George Hill scored four points in the return to his hometown. ... The Bucks were 11 of 43 on 3s.
Pacers: Bojan Bogdanovic scored 16 points to extend his career-best streak of consecutive double-digit games to 19. ... Turner also had seven rebounds and four assists. ... Indiana has held the rebounding advantage in every game during their winning streak. ... Indiana is 7-1 at home against Eastern Conference teams this season and 12-3 overall.
Pacers: Will try to even the season series at 1-1 when they visit Philadelphia on Friday.