INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Khris Middleton scored 33 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Indiana Pacers 120-116 on Thursday night.
The Bucks grabbed control with a 20-6 run in the third quarter.
The difference in the game was superb shooting from Milwaukee, and Indiana’s 20 turnovers led to 35 points for the Bucks.
Indiana trailed 111-95 after Michael Carter-Williams connected on a jumper for Milwaukee with 4:41 left. But the Pacers scored 19 of the next 25 points to close to 117-114 on George’s two foul shots with 1:16 remaining.
Solomon Hill‘s dunk trimmed the Bucks’ lead to two with 7.7 seconds left, but Middleton hit two free throws to help Milwaukee stop a three-game losing streak.
The night didn’t start well for the Pacers and the Bucks made the most of their slow start. Milwaukee shot 59 percent in the first half and led by as many as 13 points on its way to a 59-52 lead at the break.
The Pacers opened up the third quarter strong, attacking the basket and driving instead of settling for pull-up jumpers and the result was an 11-2 run that put the Pacers ahead 63-61.
But Milwaukee bounced right back, outscoring Indiana 28-14 to close out the third quarter.
Bucks: All five starters scored in double figures, combining for 95 of Milwaukee’s 120 points.
Pacers: George scored more than 18 points for the first time since Indiana lost to Memphis on Dec. 19.
GETTING OVER THE HUMP
Milwaukee got its first win of the season over an opponent that shot 50 percent or better from the field. Indiana shot 50 percent (41 for 82).
The Bucks were 0-8 coming into the day when an opponent made at least half of its shots. They also improved to 3-17 when an opponent scores 100 points or more and 5-15 against teams with winning records.
Middleton and Bayless are among the best in the league from 3-point range so far this season. Middleton was 4 for 6 from beyond the arc against Indiana, and Bayless was 2 for 4.
MISSING MAN IN MIDDLE
Ian Mahinmi, Indiana’s starting center, was injured in Wednesday’s 102-100 overtime loss to Chicago and did not dress due to a sore left knee. Lavoy Allen started Thursday in place of Mahinmi and finished with 14 points and four rebounds.
Bucks: At Minnesota on Saturday
Pacers: Host Detroit on Saturday.