3/8/2019 9:28:39 AM

Bucks bounce back from losses to punish Pacers

Bucks bounce back from losses to punish Pacers

Los Angeles, United States: Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 29 points and made 12 rebounds as the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks regained their swagger by cruising to a 117-98 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.

The Bucks season had hit a snag as they were coming off losing back-to-back games for the first time this season when they failed to hold big leads against the Phoenix Suns and the Utah Jazz.

The mini slump didn't last long, though, as they bounced back nicely against the Pacers and Khris Middleton added 27 points for the Bucks, who improved to a NBA-best 49-16 on the season.

"The last two games we had trouble holding onto a lead," said Middleton. "It was great to get this win and get back to what we do."

Myles Turner had 22 points and Bojan Bogdanovic 17 for the Pacers, who lost star guard Victor Oladipo to a season-ending injury last month.

The loss also ended Bogdanovic's streak of five straight 20 point games.

The Bucks have now beaten the Pacers in four out of five contests this season.

Milwaukee went on a 12-0 run early in the fourth quarter to take command of the game. Pacers Kyle O'Quinn scored a basket to cut the Bucks' lead to 84-74 to start the final quarter.

Milwaukee's Ersan Ilyasova sparked the run with a three pointer and Antetokounmpo capped it with a driving layup to make it 96-74 with 8:21 remaining.  

"We just tried to play hard and get back on track," Antetokounmpo said. "We got back to our old habits and started defending and helping one another on defence."

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