It took lots of points and even some serious defense at the end, but when you’re talking about the Pacers these days, that’s to be expected.
“We’re playing really well right now,” point guard Tyrese Haliburton said after Thursday’s 126-124 home win over the Bucks, via Tony East of SI.com. “Everybody’s contributing. Maybe the best bench in the NBA… we’re rolling right now.”
Haliburton speaks the truth, as Indiana has won four of five and is the league’s highest-scoring team.
And when you’re going up against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, it never hurts to score a lot. After all, the Pacers won this one despite Antetokounmpo’s 54 points.
But with all this talk about getting buckets, it’s important to remember that you really have to do it at both ends to be successful. On this night, again, that was the Pacers.
Whatever it was (double-teaming and swarming, per Dopirak), it did the trick.
And for the second straight night, the Pacers (6-3) had six players reach double figures in scoring. Haliburton led the way with 29 points and 10 assists, Bennedict Mathurin scored 26, and Myles Turner had 21.
And as of this moment, the Pacers have the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.
“The only way you really grow as a team in this league is to be battled tested under tough circumstances,” Carlisle said, via East. “Tonight, there were tough circumstances, and our guys did a tremendous job.”
Bucks guard Damian Lillard missed the game with a calf injury.