December 23, 2019 / 2:37 AM / a month ago

Matthews, Bucks pull away to rout Pacers

Wesley Matthews scored 19 points in his return from a one-game absence due to a right thigh contusion as the host Milwaukee Bucks recorded a 117-89 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.

Dec 22, 2019; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) during warm-ups before their gam against the Indiana Pacers USA; at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 18 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists for Milwaukee, which outscored Indiana 58-34 in the second half to improve to 21-1 in its last 22 games.

George Hill and Brook Lopez each made three 3-pointers en route to 17-point performances as the Bucks improved to 9-0 against Central Division rivals.

Domantas Sabonis recorded 19 points and 18 rebounds, and Doug McDermott added 15 points for the Pacers, who saw their five-game winning streak come to a halt as they fell 6.5 games in back of first-place Milwaukee in the Central Division.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 10 points on 5 of 19 shooting in his return to Milwaukee, where he spent the first three seasons of his career and was named NBA Rookie of the Year in 2017. He was sent to Indiana in a sign-and-trade deal in July.

The Bucks played a video tribute for Brogdon during the first quarter. He waved to the crowd in appreciation.

Hill’s 3-pointer gave the Bucks a 59-55 lead at intermission, and Milwaukee scored 19 of the first 24 points in the third quarter to seize control of the contest. Khris Middleton highlighted the surge with a pullup jumper and a step-back 3-pointer, before Lopez brought the crowd to its feet with a pretty spin move on his way for a layup.

Matthews connected with a corner 3-pointer, and Hill did his best Aaron Rodgers impression by firing a strike to Pat Connaughton to ignite a three-point play to give Milwaukee an 83-62 advantage at 3:18 of the third quarter.

Indiana sank three straight 3-pointers as part of an 11-0 run to finish the quarter, and closed to within nine at 87-78 after McDermott’s 3-pointer early in the fourth.

The Bucks answered with five 3-pointers as part of a 15-4 run, with Lopez sandwiching two long-range shots around one from Matthews to push the team’s advantage back to 20.

—Field Level Media

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