Indiana Pacers victorious over Milwaukee Bucks 120-98 marking 1st NBA Playoffs win in a decade

Indiana Pacers advances to Eastern Conference Semi Finals in the next round of the NBA Playoffs.

In a thrilling Game 6 matchup on Thursday night, the Indiana Pacers defeated the Milwaukee Bucks with resiliency and resolve. Damian Lillard’s return to the Bucks starting lineup presented a serious challenge, but the Pacers controlled the court and won by a commanding score of 120-98 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Despite being wounded, Lillard led the team in scoring with 28 points.

Indiana Pacers’ first Eastern Conference semifinal in ten years

The Pacers advanced to their first Eastern Conference semifinal since 2014 with this victory, winning the first-round series 4-2. Driven by their passionate home audience, the Pacers played excellent defense, keeping the Bucks’ offense in check the whole game. The Pacers overcame early obstacles, including as a sluggish start and the unavailability of important players like Myles Turner because of foul trouble, thanks to outstanding performances from T.J. McConnell and Obi Toppin.

In Game 6, Toppin led Indiana Pacers to a 120-98 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks with 21 points, 20 assists, and nine steals from McConnell. They will play in their first Eastern Conference semifinal in ten years against New York, who defeated Philadelphia 118-115 late on Thursday.

Indiana Pacers victorious

Damian Lillard returns for game 6 against Indiana Pacers

In the meantime, Damian Lillard returned from a strained right Achilles tendon and played well enough, albeit not nearly as dominant as he was in the first two games when he scored 69 points. Lillard finished with 28 points on 7-of-16 shooting. “I don’t think I would have slept well and I don’t think I would have gone into the summer well, if I didn’t at least try,” Lillard said. “I came in for my pregame workout and saw all the gold shirts on the chairs and started moving around and said, ‘Let’s just do it.” In addition, the shorthanded Bucks also played again without their two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Brook Lopez scored 20 points, Khris Middleton added 14 points and eight rebounds, while Bobby Portis Jr. contributed 20 points and 15 rebounds for Milwaukee. Tyrese Haliburton, a two-time All-Star, concluded the game for the Pacers with 17 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds. Pascal Siakam contributed 19 points and seven rebounds.

Indiana defeated Milwaukee 8-3, causing them to lose in the first round for the second time in a row. It was the first under Doc Rivers, the third head coach of the Bucks in a year. The NBA champions from 2021 made it clear they wouldn’t allow Indiana to win the series easily, and they didn’t. Sure, Indiana’s 23-3 first-quarter run, which gave them a 29-19 lead they would never relinquish, turned the game around. However, the Pacers and the Bucks continued to exchange blows.

Indiana Pacers narrowing the lead early in the second quarter

In the early minutes of the second quarter, Milwaukee trimmed the advantage to 38-34, but Indiana responded with seven straight baskets. Indiana stretched their advantage to 12 points after a 10-5 run in response to the Bucks’ 9-4 second-half rally, which had reduced the gap to 63-56. Additionally, McConnell scored back-to-back 3-pointers to end an 11-0 run that had Milwaukee within 85-78 with 6:05 remaining in the third quarter and make it 96-78 early in the fourth. “We set the pace in the games we won,” Haliburton remarked. Thus, we were aware that we would need to act assertively when we emerged.

Indiana’s final huge run, which widened the lead to 104-84 with 8:07 remaining and ignited a carnival atmosphere inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse as the fans erupted in standing ovations, was too much for the Bucks to overcome. The Pacers were calm and precise in their execution of their game plan throughout the high-pressure game. The Bucks made intermittent spurts, but the Pacers never gave up, steadily increasing their lead and never letting go of the game.

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