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The Pacers Offense Came To Life In A Game 2 Win Over The Bucks

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The Indiana Pacers looked like a team that was new to playoff basketball in Game 1 of their series against the Milwaukee Bucks, as the league’s most dynamic offense was stuck in the mud en route to a 109-94 loss. That wasn’t the case in Game 2, as the Pacers rode a huge night from Pascal Siakam to a 125-108 win over the Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Bucks to even things up in their series.

For the second game in a row, Siakam was nothing short of brilliant. The team’s high-profile midseason acquisition had his second consecutive 30-point double-double as he went for 37 points on 16-for-23 shooting with 11 rebounds and six assists in 37 minutes of work.

In particular, Siakam’s big night was buoyed by Myles Turner’s 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting and a 20-point night by Andrew Nembhard, who went 8-for-11 from the field. As a team, Indiana’s offense was able to get into a rhythm that it just could not find in Game 1. While Tyrese Haliburton once again was more of a distributor than a scorer — he has 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting with 12 assists — the Pacers as a team shot 50-for-90 (55.6 percent) from the field and 16-for-36 (44.4 percent) from three, which served as a reminder of the many regular season meetings between these two teams where Indiana frequently got good look after good look against the Bucks defense.

Milwaukee, on the other hand, struggled to keep up with Indiana — while the Bucks certainly looked more comfortable in the half court, the Pacers were lethal when they were able to get out and run. The defense, which Doc Rivers was hired to fix, got carved up, and while Milwaukee scored one more point than it did in Game 1, the inability to get stops was too much to overcome without Antetokounmpo. If there was a silver lining, it’s that for the second game in a row, Damian Lillard had a big night, with 34 points on 10-for-21 shooting from the field and 6-for-13 from three. The Bucks also got a big night from Brook Lopez, who scored 22 points and hit six of his seven triples.

As the saying goes, a series doesn’t start until a road team wins a game, and now, the Pacers get to hold their heads up high knowing that things are all evened up as things shift to Indianapolis. While we’ll have to wait and see if Antetokounmpo is able to play in either game that will take place at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Game 3 will take place on Friday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. EST on ESPN.