Jim Ovcharsky talks about the Bucks' winning streak and Giannis' greatness
The Milwaukee Bucks' recent play seems to show they've turned a corner. Where does Giannis rank in NBA history? Jim Ovcharsky discusses.
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers on Monday ended the Milwaukee Bucks' 15-game home winning streak. Tonight, the Bucks look to end the Pacers' four-game winning streak at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Tip-off is 6 p.m. CT.
Indiana (18-14) has already won the season series over Milwaukee (24-9) in winning three of the four games so far.
The Bucks led the Pacers 68-66 in a goal-filled first half in which all ten Bucks players who played scored goals. All 10 Pacers who played also scored. Khris Middleton led Milwaukee with 13 points while Obi Toppin had 12 off the bench to lead Indiana.
The Pacers led 8-3 early and led 33-31 after the first quarter. Seven of the eight Bucks players who played scored, while Jalen Smith led the Pacers with seven points.
Khris Middleton will play for the Bucks
Three-time All-Star Khris Middleton began the day on the questionable list with two injuries in the game against the Pacers, but Bucks coach Adrian Griffin said he would be available to play. Along with managing the right knee injury, he also has a sprained left wrist. Middleton underwent surgery to repair a torn shoulder ligament in the wrist in the summer of 2022 and missed the first 20 games of the season until he recovered.
Griffin said the team will continue to monitor the wrist sprain.
The Bucks travel to San Antonio to play the Spurs on Thursday, and Middleton has yet to play in back-to-back games.
Required reading: Bucks player Khris Middleton talks about getting through his toughest years and getting back to his old self
What's the Bucks' record without Middleton?
Milwaukee is 4-1 in games Middleton has missed this season.
Pax injury report
- Middleton, questionable (management of right knee injury and left wrist sprain)
- Pat Connaughton, questionable (non-coronavirus illness)
- Jae Crowder, out (left adductor surgery) Crowder is approaching the eight-week mark since his Nov. 14 surgery to repair a torn adductor muscle. His activity has gradually increased since then.
- AJ Green, out (broken nose) Bucks coach Adrian Griffin said Green broke his nose during a team practice on Dec. 31. The action was considered because he did not play against Indiana on Monday, but will rejoin the Spurs. Thursday's match. But Green is aware of the injury. He broke his nose last season while practicing with the Wisconsin Herd on Oct. 28 and had surgery on Nov. 1. Green returned to action on November 16.
Are the Bucks Pacers a competitor?: Not yet, says Oshkosh native Tyrese Haliburton
Is Giannis playing?
Antetokounmpo is coming off a triple-double against Indiana on New Year's Day. He scored 30 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, and provided 11 assists.
Bucks vs. Pacers: Why were Giannis and his Indiana teammates upset after the December 13 game?
- guards: Damian Lillard, owner of Beasley
- Attackers: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton
- center: Brook Lopez
What happened between the Bucks and Pacers?
It's been an interesting season series. First, Antetokounmpo scored 54 points at Indiana on Nov. 9, but the Bucks held a double-digit lead in the loss. The Pacers then knocked the Bucks out of the season championship with a semifinal win in Las Vegas on December 7.
On December 13, Antetokounmpo set a franchise record with 64 points, but it led to several heated postgame conversations between players and staff from both teams. The Bucks did not appreciate the Pacers players leaving the court without shaking hands, and a misunderstanding about the whereabouts of the game ball was also part of the scene.
In the final matchup between the two teams on Monday, the Pacers overcame two 15-point deficits to give Oshkosh native Tyrese Haliburton his first win as a pro in his home state.
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