March 2, 2024


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Giannis Antetokounmpo sets Bucks record with 64 points vs. Pacers

Giannis Antetokounmpo sets Bucks record with 64 points vs. Pacers

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Giannis Antetokounmpo broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record with a 3-pointer. It seemed fitting that he broke Michael Redd’s single-game scoring record with two free throws.

The 29-year-old Bucks star fired back Monday night after the game against Chicago, saying he might have to “make something happen” against Indiana on Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum.

Has he ever done that?

The 7-footer broke Reed’s 17-year-old record for points in a game with 64 points in a 140-126 win over Indiana, making 20 of 28 shots and 24 of 32 free throws. He tied the record for layups but missed the free throw. He was then sent to the line by Indiana rookie Jarrace Walker with 3 minutes, 25 seconds on the clock and drained both to set the mark.

Square score: Bucks 140, Pacers 126

more: The best single-game scoring performances in Bucks history, including 64 from Giannis on Wednesday

Reid scored 57 points on November 11, 2006 against Utah. In that game Redd was 6-for-12 from behind the three-point line. Antetokounmpo was 0-for-3 from deep against Indiana.

Reid knew this day would come too.

He joked with Antetokounmpo in the tunnel after a game in 2021 that one day he would own that brand.

β€œOh, yeah, he’ll get it,” Reid later said. “He’s going to have it. I meant it that night. We were joking about it, and I said I had a lucky night, and he said, ‘I want to have a lucky night, too.’

Antetokounmpo also surpassed 17,000 career points that night, making it just 100.y NBA player to do this. He was aided in that basket by Khris Middleton – who surpassed Reid last month as the No. 5 scorer in Bucks history.

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β€œIt feels great,” Reid said of the duo surpassing their marks. “I’ve known them since they were young and I try to be there for them in any way I can. For them, getting rid of those numbers and stuff is good. They’re going to pass all my records. And I want them to do that. I want them to do that. Every generation should He wants the next generation to surpass him and that’s what I want.

While not many teams have had solutions for Antetokounmpo on the defensive end since he has emerged as one of the best players in the NBA, the Pacers in particular have struggled the past four seasons.

In his last 10 games against Indiana (dated February 3, 2021), Antetokounmpo is averaging 36.2 points on 69.1% shooting. He has already recorded two 50-point regular season games with 50 at Milwaukee on February 15, 2022, and 54 at Indiana on November 9.

Antetokounmpo’s dominance over their division rival continued on Wednesday night.

β€œHe’s a different kind of force of nature in this game,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said before the game. “There’s never been a player like him. We’re talking about Dame (Lillard and his 3-pointers), he’s on one end and Giannis is like… I don’t even know. Like, 10 years ago, if someone tried to describe to me a 7-foot-tall guy who… “What he’s doing, I would have looked at them like they were crazy. How would this all happen? But it did.”

more: Damian Lillard becomes No. 5 in NBA history in 3-pointers as Bucks host Pacers

more: Bobby Portes was ejected in the Bucks vs. Pacers game, defending Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Carlisle pulled all of its starters with less than six minutes left in the game, Antetokounmpo scored 51 points, but Adrian Griffin kept him in goal so Antetokounmpo could break the record.

He had a very hard fall right before the mark was made, and took the time to bend his hips. He also seemed to favor his team when he made his ensuing free throws.

Griffin then pulled his starters, but the Pacers’ backups quickly made it a 10-point game and all of the Bucks’ starters had to come back for the final two minutes. In that period, Antetokounmpo added to his historic goal total just to secure the win, punctuated by a breakaway dunk, a chest slam and a mean trophy.

The Bucks finally put the Pacers away

The Bucks have had issues all season with transition defense, with an early issue stemming from the team’s initial focus on offensive rebounding. But time has proven they’re not very good at it – the team entered the league No. 26 in that category – so the focus turned to getting back to fine-tuning their defense as the shot progressed.

Indiana contends that more than most teams, and even caught the Bucks moving too slowly from baskets, they made baskets in their win in Las Vegas.

The Pacers also took advantage of the Bucks on the offensive glass in Las Vegas, especially late in that game. Indiana had 15 offensive rebounds and 23 second-chance points in this win (down from nine to 14 on November 9).

Unfortunately for Milwaukee, talking about this problem did not immediately translate into fixing it on the court in the first half, as the Pacers scored 14 of their 63 points in the first half off 12 offensive rebounds. The extra effort helped them stay in the game, as they shot just 21% from beyond the three-point line and 42% overall.

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But, if there’s a positive sign it’s that Indiana didn’t put together another offensive board in the final seven minutes, 28 seconds of the first half β€” and perhaps not coincidentally, the Bucks extended their three-point lead to as many as 12.

In fact, Indiana didn’t get another second-chance point until late in the third quarter β€” a time period that saw the lead swell to as many as 16 points.

It was a key point in the game that allowed the Bucks to get their first win over Indiana this season.

4 numbers

6 Blocked shots for Bucks center Brook Lopez, giving him a five-game high with five or more blocks. He entered the game leading the league in blocks per game and total blocks.

11 Consecutive home victories for the Bucks. They are 12-1 in Fiserv Forum this season.

258.5 The pregame over/under ended in the game, surpassing its In-Season Tournament game total by a full point β€” which ESPN reported was the highest total since 1991. Indiana entered the game with a league-high 10 points scored of at least 130 points and the Bucks finished second with eight.

100 Players in NBA history have scored at least 17,000 points, a group joined by Giannis Antetokounmpo with 47 points.y Point vs. Pacers – Power layup with 6:26 left. Only nine other active players have reached this milestone, including teammate Damian Lillard. It was also fitting that Khris Middleton, Antetokounmpo’s longtime teammate, would help out.