Antetokounmpo’s triple-double leads Bucks past Pacers, 106-97

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Giannis Antetokounmpo
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks against Indiana Pacers forward Bojan Bogdanovic during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. -- BRIAN SPURLOCK-USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES — Giannis Antetokounmpo produced 33 points, 19 rebounds and 11 assists for his fifth triple-double of the season as the Milwaukee Bucks rallied for a 106-97 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis on Wednesday night.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 17 points and Khris Middleton added 15 as Milwaukee won for the 14th time in its past 16 games. George Hill had 12 points and Ersan Ilyasova tallied 11 for the Bucks, who own the best record (43-14) in the NBA heading into the All-Star break.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 20 points for the Pacers, who had a six-game winning streak halted. Domantas Sabonis recorded 14 points and nine rebounds, Darren Collison had 14 points and seven assists, Myles Turner scored 11 points, and Tyreke Evans had 10.

Milwaukee connected on 44.2 percent of its shots, including 9 of 31 from 3-point range. The Bucks held a 52-43 rebounding edge.

The Pacers made 41.6% of their shots and were 10 of 27 from long range.

Milwaukee recovered from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit en route to posting its seventh straight road win.

Thaddeus Young hit a 3-pointer to give the Pacers a 95-93 lead with 4:42 left. Antetokounmpo hit a tying jumper with 3:51 remaining, and the Bucks moved ahead at 97-95 when Antetokounmpo recorded his 10th assist by feeding a wide-open Ilyasova for a layup with 2:36 left.

Middleton followed with a 3-pointer and Antetokounmpo hit four straight free throws to make it 104-95 with 54.6 seconds left as Milwaukee closed it out.

The Pacers led 79-76 entering the fourth quarter before scoring the initial seven points of the final stanza. Evans knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 86-76 with 9:37 remaining.

Milwaukee responded with a 9-2 push with Middleton scoring the final five to trim Indiana’s lead to 88-85 with 7:23 left.

The Bucks took a 91-90 lead on Brogdon’s basket with 5:56 remaining.

Indiana trailed 55-47 at halftime before opening the third quarter with a 12-3 burst to take a one-point lead.

Later in the quarter, Wesley Matthews and Bogdanovic buried back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Pacers a 69-63 lead with 4:32 remaining.

Antetokounmpo had 15 points, nine rebounds, and six assists in the first half as the Bucks led by eight at the break.

Antetokounmpo scored 13 first-quarter points — half his club’s total — as Milwaukee held a 26-18 advantage.

Jeff Teague produced a double-double while Karl-Anthony Towns led a dominant performance in the paint by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who used a balanced scoring attack to thwart James Harden and the Houston Rockets 121-111 on Wednesday in Minneapolis.

Rookie guard Josh Okogie provided a spark with 16 points and played energetic defense on Harden, but Harden still extended his streak of 30-point games to 31 with 42 points, matching Wilt Chamberlain for the second-longest streak in NBA history. Harden has recorded 22 40-point games this season.

Teague paced seven Timberwolves in double figures with 27 points and added a game-high 12 assists while Towns paired 25 points with a team-best nine rebounds. Dario Saric, Luol Deng, and Taj Gibson recorded eight rebounds each as Minnesota posted a plus-10 rebounding advantage while also outscoring Houston 70-36 in the paint. The Timberwolves shot 54.4 percent.

Chris Paul added 16 points and eight assists for Houston while Kenneth Faried chipped in a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Rockets led 65-56 on two Faried free throws at the 10:18 mark of the third quarter before the Timberwolves mounted the first of their two significant runs in the period. Minnesota pulled even with a 9-0 surge and later added a 12-0 burst to seize the lead.

Okogie was crucial during the latter run, producing a steal and block, both against Harden, while also converting a transition dunk and a 3-pointer that pushed Minnesota to a 77-74 lead.

The series of alternating runs began in the first quarter when, after Saric scored 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting for Minnesota, the Rockets closed the frame on an 11-2 rally to carry a one-point lead into the second. Houston surged without Harden, who shot 1 of 4 in the period, and instead relied on 15 bench points, with eight coming from reserve swingman Gerald Green.

Harden found his rhythm in the second quarter, scoring 10 points during a 16-6 Rockets run that turned a three-point deficit into a 51-44 lead.

Harden totaled 20 points by the break and Houston led 58-52 at the intermission despite surrendering 34 points in the paint and playing to a minus-10 deficit on the boards.

The Timberwolves shot 51.2% in the first half despite missing 5 of 6 3-pointers. That dominance on the interior and the glass paid dividends after the break. — Reuters