Paul George scores 23 points, Pacers beat Bucks 104-89
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Paul George had 23 points and 10 rebounds and the Indiana Pacers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 104-89 on Thursday night to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Point guard Jeff Teague added 15 points and seven assists for the Pacers, Thaddeus Young had 12 points. and Lance Stephenson nine in his third game back with Indiana.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 25 points, seven rebounds and six assists. He scored 16 points in the first half to help the Bucks keep pace, but Indiana kept him in check in the second half and pulled away. Mirza Teletovic added 15 points for the Bucks.
Milwaukee has lost three straight after winning seven of previous eight.
The Pacers had several key runs that thwarted Milwaukee's attempts to gain an edge.
With the game tied at 38 in the second quarter, Indiana used a 10-0 run to create its first cushion on its way to a 56-50 halftime lead. A 13-0 run in the third quarter allowed the Pacers to pull away from the Bucks after they'd pulled ton 63-61 on Antetokounmpo's three-point play.
The Pacers needed just 19 points in the fourth quarter to seal the win thanks to defense that held the Bucks to 16 in the final period.
Indiana's second straight win, coupled with Milwaukee's third straight loss, creates a logjam in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference standings with less than a week to go.
Bucks: Milwaukee had won the previous three matchups against Indiana. ... The Bucks fell to 18-21 on the road ... The Bucks averaged 113.3 points this season in their three wins against the Pacers.
Pacers: The Pacers went 1-3 this season against the Bucks. ... Indiana improved to 28-12 at home, the fourth-best home record in the Eastern Conference.
Bucks: Play at Philadelphia on Saturday. The 76ers have taken two of three from Milwaukee this season. Two of Milwaukee's final three games are on the road. The Bucks close out the regular season Wednesday at Boston.
Pacers: Play Saturday at Orlando. Indiana has won all three contests against the Magic this season. The Pacers also finish with two of three on the road. They close the season Wednesday against Atlanta with a playoff spot likely on the line.
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