Jrue Holiday drops 51, Giannis Antetokounmpo posts 38-point triple-double in 149-point outing vs. Pacers
The Milwaukee Bucks look primed for the postseason.
Jrue Holiday exploded for a career-high 51 points alongside eight rebounds and eight assists against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. Giannis Antetokounmpo tacked on a triple-double with 38 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists as the Bucks cruised to a 149-136 win.
The output wasn't the highest of the NBA season. That honor belongs to the Sacramento Kings, who combined with the Los Angeles Clippers for the second-highest scoring game in NBA history with a 176-175 win in February. That score required double-overtime.
The Bucks did all their damage against the Pacers in regulation. They also did it without All-Star Khris Middleton, who sat the first game of a back-to-back to manage the knee injury that cost him a chunk of the regular season. They instead got 21 points, eight rebounds and three blocks from Brook Lopez, who continues to thrive with an increased role in his fifth season in Milwaukee.
The win continues a torrid stretch for the Bucks, who have gone 25-4 since Jan. 23 to improve to 55-21 and seize control of first place in the East. With Wednesday's win, they extended their lead over the second-place Boston Celtics to three games with six games remaining on their regular-season slate.
They project to improve as three-time All-Star Middleton continues to get up to speed after playing just 30 games so far in the regular season. The Bucks were fine without him on Wednesday.
Holiday did most of his damage in the lane, where he scored 30 of his 51 points. He shot 20 of 30 from the field, including a 3 of 6 effort from 3-point distance. He did it all in 32 minutes. Antetokounmpo likewise needed 32 minutes to post his line that included a 14 of 18 effort from the floor.
The Bucks face tough tests against their top Eastern Conference rivals with a Thursday game against the Celtics and a Saturday game against the Philadelphia 76ers.