Once Upon A Time In Las Vegas – Championship Sunday
On Friday night, the Milwaukee Bucks head to Gainbridge Fieldhouse for a road matchup with the Indiana Pacers. The Bucks defeated the Denver Nuggets 107-99 at home Wednesday. The Pacers lost 126-120 to the Orlando Magic. The tip is slated for 7:10 PM ET. Milwaukee opens as a road favorite.
Buck’s Win at Home
Milwaukee outlasted the short-handed Denver Nuggets 107-99 Wednesday night, improving to 31-17 on the year. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and 14 rebounds, going 15 for 22 from the free throw line in the win. Denver was without Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Jrue Holiday had 20 points for the and the Bucks came out on top despite committing 22 turnovers.
Pat Connaughton scored a season-high 19 points, matched a career-high with 12 rebounds, and shot 7 of 8 overall and 5 of 6 on 3-point attempts.
”Just tried to get to the rim, tried to be aggressive as much as I can, get downhill, play within my strength,” Antetokounmpo said after the win to Associated Press reporters. ”I tried to enjoy the game. I feel I sometimes get too locked in. I think I’ve got to enjoy the game more. Usually when I enjoy the game more, I get to the free-throw line more, I get downhill more, I’m able to find my teammates more and just make better plays.”
Bobby Portis missed the game and will be out for the next two weeks with an ankle injury. They get the reeling Pacers on the road.
Pacer’s Struggle Again in Loss
The Indiana Pacers continue to struggle without Tyrese Haliburton as they were clipped 126-120 on the road by the Orlando Magic. Bennedict Mathurin came off the Pacers’ bench to score 26 points for the second straight game, and Myles Turner added 22 points and 13 rebounds. Buddy Hield hit his first five 3-point shots and finished with 21 points, but it wasn’t enough as they were a step slow on the defensive end.
The Pacers fell behind 11-0 and never recovered, losing for the eighth time in nine games since NBA assist leader Tyrese Haliburton went out with a sprained left knee and sprained left elbow.
”Lousy first quarter. We’ve got to get off to better starts,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said to AP reporters after the loss. ”They hit us with a lot of shots, drives to the basket, and we were on our heels. The second night of a back-to-back is not an excuse because we’ve been good all year in those situations.”
Andrew Nembhard missed a second game due to illness. Haliburton is questionable to suit up for this game against the Bucks. They are not the same team with him out of the lineup.
Full game side bet
Milwaukee outlasted the short-handed Denver Nuggets 107-99 Wednesday night, improving to 31-17 on the year. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and 14 rebounds, going 15 for 22 from the free throw line in the win. Khris Middleton came off the bench for the second straight time as he works his way back gradually from a sore right knee. Middleton, who has played just nine games this season, scored 10 points in 15 minutes but is an integral part of what the Bucks hope is another championship run. Expect them to crank his minutes up slowly, but look for him to trot out at least 20 in this game. The Pacers may be getting Haliburton back, but they will be cautious with his minutes in his first game action in more than a month. Milwaukee has covered the spread in four of five against Indy.
Take Milwaukee to win and cover.
Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks -7.5 (-110)
Full game total pick
Indiana ranks fifth in pace of play heading into this Eastern Conference battle with the Bucks. Tyrese Haliburton is questionable to suit up for this game against the Bucks. They are not the same team with him out of the lineup, but he is trending toward at least playing 15-20 minutes. With him around, the pace will be cranked up again for the Pacers, and the Bucks will be more than happy to oblige considering Indiana is allowing opposing teams to shoot 37.1% from downtown. The total number has gone over in six of eight meetings between these clubs over the last two seasons.
Take the over here.
Prediction: OVER 239
Jason Raffoul, “Jason Raffoul”
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