Indiana sends Milwaukee crashing to earn an NBA Playoff semifinal spot

Indiana advances to the next NBA Playoff round after eliminating Milwaukee (draftkings.com)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Indiana Pacers got the job done in emphatic fashion after thrashing the Milwaukee Bucks, 120-98, and eliminated them in the ongoing NBA playoffs to advance to the semifinal round on May 3, 2024.

After suffering a blowout loss in Game 5 that prevented them from finishing the series in five games, the Pacers made sure that there would be no Game 7 as they dominated the Bucks on their home floor.

Despite the return of the injured Damian Lillard, the Pacers were still able to break through and out-ran the Bucks, outscoring them in the fast break department, 21-6.

Indiana quickly grabbed the momentum in the opening frame after establishing a nine-point lead, 33-24, after the first 12 minutes of the contest.

With the Pacers running the break every time they grabbed a defensive rebound, Milwaukee tried to counter by settling for a small ball lineup but that didn’t work as Indiana’s three-point shooting clicked midway through the second frame.

Milwaukee was able to claw their way back in the third after Lillard and Khris Middleton got into an offensive groove, trimming Indiana’s double-digit advantage to just seven points before the final canto kicked off.

However, that would become Milwaukee’s closest gap as the Pacers stepped on the gas pedal and ballooned its lead to as much as 24 points courtesy of their balanced offensive spree.

Obi Toppin was the ex-factor for the Pacers after playing heavy minutes, replacing Myles Turner who was plagued with foul trouble early in the game.

The athletic power forward was efficient as soon as his number got called and finished the win with 21 points built from a 6/9 shooting from the field.

Pascal Siakam also bounced back from a horrendous shooting in Game 5 and chipped in 19 markers, seven rebounds, four assists, and a steal.

Meanwhile, Tyrese Haliburton was close to tallying a triple-double after delivering 17 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds.

On the other hand, the Bucks still missed the services of their franchise player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had to sit out all six games due to a left calf strain.

With the win, the Pacers will be setting up a highly-anticipated Eastern Conference semifinal showdown against the New York Knicks that eliminated Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers.

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