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Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks - Game One

Source: Stacy Revere / Getty

(MILWAUKEE, WI) –Pascal Siakam joins Reggie Miller as the only players in franchise history with 35+ points in back-to-back playoff games in Indiana’s 125-108 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks to even up the series at a game apiece.

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1. First Quarter

First Quarter Source:Getty

In game one, Damian Lillard propelled the Milwaukee Bucks to an early lead that knocked the Pacers down and couldn’t recover. Tonight, Milwaukee scored the first six points of the game with threes from Brook Lopez and Lillard. Indiana scored five points right after that with a Myles Turner field goal and Tyrese Haliburton triple. Milwaukee eventually pushed its lead to 21-13 with 4:57 left in the first quarter after a Lillard layup. Indiana responded with a 13-2 run to go ahead 26-23 after a pair of Obi Toppin layups. The Bucks tied it and then Indiana scored four points to close the quarter. In total, the Pacers outscored the Bucks 17-5 to lead 30-26. Lillard once again had a big quarter with 15 points. Indiana’s leading scorer was Pascal Siakam with 9 points.

2. Second Quarter

Second Quarter Source:Getty

Indiana was able to push the lead to seven points after a Toppin three-pointer to start the second quarter. Milwaukee came back with a 12-2 run to take the lead back. Bobby Portis’s first basket of the game led to an Indiana timeout with 8:46 remaining. It was a true struggle to go on runs the rest of the way with how physical both teams were playing. The biggest lead either team would have in the final 8:46 was Indiana to end the first half because of Siakam’s third three of the first half. The two teams were tied five times during that stretch. At halftime, Indiana led 60-55 despite Lillard erupting for 26 points in the first half. He and Portis combined for 38 of Milwaukee’s points. Indiana was led by Siakam with 21 points. Both teams hit 10 threes in the first half.

3. Third Quarter

Third Quarter Source:Getty

Indiana’s solid play continued in the third quarter because they were able to set the pace and prevent Milwaukee from playing their game. They opened the second half by outscoring Milwaukee 9-3 to take the first double-digit lead of the contest on an Aaron Nesmith three. The Bucks came out of the timeout and scored five points to trim their deficit to five points after a Lillard layup. He would get to the rim again with 3:58 left in the third quarter to make it a one-point game at 79-78. Indiana would come up empty on its offensive possession and so would Milwaukee. During the final 3:58, Indiana was able to outscore Milwaukee by eight to take a 92-83 advantage to the final quarter of play. Andrew Nembhard was critical in the third quarter with his defense on Lillard and scoring a team high nine points in the period. Lillard led all scorers with 34 points followed by Siakam with 20 points. Haliburton was 2 points away from a double-double as he had already dished out 10 assists.

4. Fourth Quarter

Fourth Quarter Source:Getty

With an inexperienced playoff team like the Pacers, the fourth quarter could have gone two ways. Either they sustain their high level of play or crumble because of the pressure of closing out a playoff game. They turned out to save their best play for the final twelve minutes. Milwaukee made things interesting by making it 92-88 after a Pat Connaughton layup and foul shot. Indiana then went on an unbelievable 23-4 run to put the Bucks away. During that 5:52 stretch, the Pacers were 10/11 from the with Turning scoring eight points, Siakam scoring six points, and Haliburton scoring three points. Other players that scored during that stretch were McConnell, Nesmith, and Ben Sheppard. Indiana was essentially able to cruise the rest of the way after delivering the knockout blow and sending the fans home with 5:55 left. Milwaukee started emptying its bench with 4:46 left and Indiana did the same with 90 seconds left. Indiana closed the game out outscoring Milwaukee 33-25 to win 125-108.

5. Top Performers

Top Performers Source:Getty

Pascal Siakam (37p, 11r, 6a), Myles Turner (22p, 7r, 6a, 3 threes), Andrew Nembhard (20p, 4r, 3a), Tyrese Haliburton (12p, 12a, 4r), Aaron Nesmith (11p, 7a, 5r), Obi Toppin (9p, 8r), Ben Sheppard (8p, 3r), and T.J. McConnell (6p, 4r, 2a). For Milwaukee, Damian Lillard (34p, 5a, 4r, 6 threes), Brook Lopez (22p, 6 threes), Khris Middleton (15p, 6a, 5r), and Bobby Portis (14p, 11r). For tonight’s full box score, click here.

6. Notes

Notes Source:Getty
  • Indiana snapped its 10-game playoff losing streak with the win
  • Indiana became the first road team to win in the NBA playoffs (home teams won previous 16 games)
  • Pascal Siakam is the first Indiana Pacer since Reggie Miller in 2001 with back-to-back playoff games with 35+ points
    • Siakam joins Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in the NBA to open the playoffs with back-to-back 35+ points and 10+ rebounds (1967)
    • Siakam becomes first player since the NBA/ABA merger with 35+ points, 10+ rebounds, 5+ assists, 65+ FG%, and 0 turnovers in a playoff game
    • First Indiana Pacer since Paul George in 2017 with back-to-back playoff games with 30+ points
  • Myles Turner’s 22 points tie a career high for points in a playoff game
  • Damian Lillard went 3/9 in the second half and scored 8 points
    • He is now 3/14 in the second half between game one and two and hasn’t made a three
  • Aaron Nesmith’s 7 assists are a career high

7. Next Up

Next Up Source:Getty

After a pair of off days, game three will take place on Friday afternoon at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Pat Boylan will get things started with the Kroger Pregame Show at 5pm. Mark Boyle and Eddie Gill will have the play-by-play starting at 5:30pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan. The series schedule:

  • Game 1 – Sunday, April 21st, 2024, at Fiserv Forum Arena – MIL 109 – 94
  • Game 2 – Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024, at Fiserv Forum Arena – IND 125 –108
  • Game 3 – Friday, April 26th, 2024, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse – 5:30pm
  • Game 4 – Sunday, April 29th, 2024, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse – 7:00pm
  • Game 5 – Tuesday, April 30th, 2024, at Fiserv Forum Arena – TBD
  • Game 6 (if necessary) – Thursday, May 2nd, 2024, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse – TBD
  • Game 7 (if necessary) – Saturday, May 5th, 2024, at Fiserv Forum Arena – TBD