Fast starts to the first and third quarters didn’t help the Indiana Pacers much as they lost their third straight game, falling to the Milwaukee Bucks at home. The Pacers jumped up 8-2 in the first quarter, but foul trouble to Paul George early helped open up things for the Bucks, pushing them to finish the quarter on a 27-14 run.
In the third quarter, the Pacers scored the first 10 of the half as part of a 13-0 run to tie the game at 62-62, but Milwaukee responded immediately with a 9-0 run, dropping any momentum the Pacers had. Beyond that point, any time the Pacers appeared to be gaining momentum, Milwaukee dropped in a debilitating three pointer, allowing the Bucks to win all three quarters.
Once again, the Pacers outshot their opponent, but the Bucks went 17-31 from three point range, a season high, including a 5-9 night from Mirza Teletovic and 4-5 by Tony Snell. The Pacers, meanwhile, shot better than they did against Washington, but couldn’t keep pace by hitting 10. C.J. Miles went 6-10 to lead the Pacers with 23 points, leaving the rest of the team to shoot 4-12.
Myles Turner’s efficient three point shooting has come back down, shooting 0-3 himself, but he did overcome his shooting woes (4-12) by working to the line, going 10-11 for 18 points, leading the team with six assists. George’s foul trouble removed him completely from the game until the final garbage time minutes, with the All-Star scoring just 13 points and allowing himself to get shut down by Matthew Dellavedova.
Of the bench, Monta Ellis had his best game in some time, scoring 18 points on 7-10 shooting, even getting up for a couple of dunks. Despite the scoring, however, he had zero assists, with the bench totaling two on the night. The Pacers had 19 for the game, which was minuscule compared to Milwaukee’s 28.
Ellis and George each had five turnovers, however, leading to 14 Pacers turnovers while the Bucks had just six on the night. No surprise, the 17-6 Milwaukee advantage in points off turnovers did little to help Indiana. Jeff Teague also didn’t do much to help the Pacers, scoring just two late game points on 1-2 shooting with six assists.
With George in foul trouble and Turner struggling with his shot, it was a prime opportunity for Teague to lead the charge, especially opposite Dellavedova, but fittingly, it was Dellavedova’s nine points that made a bigger impact than two of Indiana’s starters.
Much in the way Indiana squandered their 10-0 run to open the third, they’re in position to do the same with their seven game winning streak. At three straight losses, they’ll be taxed with figuring out how to win with the San Antonio Spurs coming to Indianapolis on Monday.