March 2, 2024

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Pacers stun Bucks, halt 15-game home win streak with Haliburton’s heroics

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HERO. Tyrese Haliburton and his bench teammates fuel the Indiana Pacers’ 122-113 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, stopping the latter’s 15-game home win streak on Monday night (Tuesday, January 2, Philippine time). INDIANA PACERS PHOTO

The Indiana Pacers, fueled by the brilliance of Tyrese Haliburton and their relentless bench, halted the Milwaukee Bucks’ 15-game win streak with a resounding 122-113 victory on Monday night (Tuesday, January 2, Philippine time).

Haliburton, returning to his Wisconsin roots, put on a show with 26 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds, falling just shy of a triple-double. The Pacers’ reserves played a pivotal role, outscoring the Bucks 70-16 in bench points, showcasing the depth that Haliburton believes sets his team apart.

The Pacers found a way to secure the win despite a cold shooting night from beyond the arc (5 of 35 from 3-point range). Bennedict Mathurin added 25 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, while Isaiah Jackson contributed 18 points and nine rebounds. T.J. McConnell, another impactful reserve, chipped in with 16 points and nine assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a triple-double with 30 points, 18 rebounds, and 11 assists, but it wasn’t enough to propel the Bucks to victory. The Pacers’ strong third-quarter rally, erasing a 15-point deficit, set the stage for a back-and-forth battle in the final minutes.

The game intensified as the Pacers took control with a 109-101 lead after an 8-0 run, with McConnell leading the charge. Haliburton’s clutch plays down the stretch, including a crucial three-point play, ensured Indiana kept the Bucks at bay.

While the Pacers now lead the season series against the Bucks, Haliburton hesitated to label it a rivalry, acknowledging the respect for a team that has contended for championships. However, he emphasized the Pacers’ readiness to compete against any opponent.

The Pacers faced challenges with Bruce Brown sidelined due to a knee injury, and Andrew Nembhard’s early exit with a sore back. The Bucks were without MarJon Beauchamp due to a non-COVID-19 illness.

As the Pacers celebrate their impressive victory, the Bucks are left reflecting on a rare home defeat and contemplating adjustments ahead of their rematch on Wednesday in Indiana. The Pacers, fueled by their depth and determination, have once again proven they are a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference.

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