- Giannis Antetokounmpo is the fifth player in NBA history to lose a game with 50 points on 75% shooting
- He also committed two crucial late turnovers as the Bucks were beaten
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Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored an NBA season-high 54 points but Milwaukee were still beaten 126-124 by the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night.
Antetokounmpo committed two turnovers after Tyrese Haliburton´s go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:29 left.
The result ensured Antetokounmpo became only the fifth player in NBA history to score 50 or more points on 75% shooting in a loss.
It came 24 hours after he was left so furious by being ejected from Milwaukee’s win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night that he sat down in the front row with fans to briefly protest.
On Thursday, it was Haliburton who piled on the misery. He had 29 points and 10 assists and Bennedict Mathurin added 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who blew an 18-point lead and then had to rally from 10 down in the fourth quarter.
Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo scored season-high 54 points in Milwaukee’s 126-124 loss
Giannis became the fifth player in NBA history to drop 50 points in a game and still lose
‘We had to deal with a player who was extraordinarily hot and on a roll,’ Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said.
‘We executed as well as we could and created some chaos defensively. You´ve got to take some risks or else he´s going to end up with 60. Very fortunate to get the win.’
Antetokounmpo finished one point shy of his career high, but threw away a pass with 1:03 left, then was stripped by Mathurin with 30 seconds to go, both with the Bucks trailing 122-121. He was 19 for 25 from the field, 16 of 18 on free throws and grabbed 12 rebounds, but also had eight turnovers.
‘Just trying to get stops,’ Mathurin said. ‘The game´s about defense.’
Chicago’s Zach LaVine had the previous high game in the NBA this season with 51 points against Detroit on October 28.
Playing without All-Star Damian Lillard, sidelined by calf soreness, Milwaukee received a breathtaking performance from Antetokounmpo, who was three points shy of Michael Redd´s franchise record. Khris Middleton, who had 19 points and made a 3 at the final buzzer, missed a 3 that would have tied the game with 7 seconds left.
Tyrese Haliburton hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:29 left in the Pacers’ tight victory
Antetokounmpo also hurt the Bucks with two late turnovers in Thursday night’s game
With 8.4 seconds to go and Indiana clinging to a one-point lead, Mathurin connected on two free throws to make it 124-121. Bruce Brown, who had 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, sealed the win with two foul shots of his own in the final seconds.
The Pacers roared to an 18-point lead in the first quarter and led 38-24 at the end of the period on the strength of eight 3-point makes. Milwaukee climbed within 66-60 at halftime and pulled even at 71 on two free throws from Middleton with 9:32 left in the third.
The Bucks went ahead by as many as 10 in the final period and still led 117-108 with 5 minutes left.
Antetokounmpo scored 26 points in the first half, including 18 in the second quarter, and then 20 more in the third period. He reached 50 with 10:28 left on a layup assisted by Middleton´s over-the-top pass, prompting an Indiana timeout.