Middleton scores 33 as Bucks beat Pacers 120-116

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Khris Middleton scored 33 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Indiana Pacers 120-116 on Thursday night.

Greg Monroe added 23 points for Milwaukee, which shot 58 percent (45 for 77) from the field. Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo and reserve Jerryd Bayless had 14 points apiece.

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.

Paul George led the Pacers with 31 points. George Hill added 15 points and six rebounds.

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.

TIP-INS

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.

DEEP THREATS

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.

UP NEXT

Bucks: At Minnesota on Saturday

Pacers: Host Detroit on Saturday.

Watch Jamal Murray hit insane hand-switching layup around LeBron

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Are. You. Kidding. Me.

You are not going to see a better layup these playoffs than this one by Denver’s Jamal Murray, going around LeBron James near the end of the first half of Game 4.

Murray went up thinking dunk, had to change his mind because of LeBron, brought it down, went around him, and spun it in off the glass. Insane. It had some people on Twitter referencing the legendary Michael Jordan hand-switching shot. Not sure I’m willing to compare this Murray shot to a layup that helped launch a dynasty, but it’s close.

Murray had 16 in the first half but the Nuggets trailed at the break 60-55 in a high scoring first half. Anthony Davis had 19 to lead the Lakers.

Former Louisville star Donovan Mitchell “sad, angry, disgusted” with Breonna Taylor decision

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NBA players — like large swaths of the United States — are shaking their heads at the decision not to prosecute the police sho shot Breonna Taylor in her home. That includes LeBron James, who said the walls of Taylor’s neighbors got more justice than she did.

Now former Louisville star Donovan Mitchell has spoken out on the issue.

The hate and racism in too many of the responses to that Instagram post highlight the injustice and additional hurdles Black people in America have to clear every day.

Louisville has faced a night of protests and backlash to the decision by the grand jury, which included the two police officers getting shot (they both survived).

 

Report: Bulls paying Billy Donovan $6 million-plus annual salary

New Bulls coach and former Thunder coach Billy Donovan
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
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Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf just spent the NBA hiatus – at least if you looked beyond “The Last Dance” itself – getting dragged for not spending enough to give Michael Jordan another year of title contention in Chicago.

Paying to hire Billy Donovan is a way for Reinsdorf and the Bulls to repair their reputations.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I’d be surprised if all four years are fully guaranteed. Coaching contracts of this length usually contain a team option or two.

But that’s still a hefty salary. Especially in these times. Especially considering it was believed the Bulls would keep Jim Boylen for financial reasons.

Donovan left the Thunder despite them offering him a new contract. He likely knew he could get more elsewhere.

Credit Chicago for being the team to spend. The Bulls needed a solid coach after Boylen and Fred Hoiberg.

Donovan won’t solve all Chicago’s problems, but he should help on multiple fronts. This upgrade costs nothing but Reinsdorf’s money, which every Chicago fan is perfectly willing to spend.

NBA playoff schedule 2020: Date, time, matchup for every game

NBA playoff schedule 2020
AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images
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And there were four.

The NBA is down to the conference finals — and the bubble has provided us with upsets galore. There are some unexpected teams in the NBA’s Final Four, but of course LeBron James is still there. The Lakers are the heavy favorites at this point.

Here are a few notes on the NBA playoffs schedule 2020:

• The NBA is continuing to push the pace with games every other day — except in the East, when ESPN wants a break not to clash with the NFL, and to let the West catch up. The fast pace of games will return with the NBA Finals.
• Families for the players, and with the final four now the coaches, are in the bubble.
• The NBA has released an NBA Finals schedule to teams and their target is still a Sept. 30 Game 1. If either conference finals goes seven games that date will need to be pushed back.

Here is the NBA playoffs schedule 2020 (all times are Eastern):

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

No. 3 Boston Celtics vs. No. 5 Miami Heat

Game 1: Heat 117, Celtics 114, OT
Game 2: Heat 106, Celtics 101
Game 3: Celtics 117, Heat 106
Game 4: Heat 112, Celtics 109 (Miami leads series 3-1)
Game 5: Sept. 25, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 6: Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)*
Game 7: TBD (ESPN)*
*If necessary

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers vs. No. 3 Denver Nuggets

Game 1: Lakers 126, Nuggets 114
Game 2: Lakers 105, Nuggets 103
Game 3: Nuggets 114, Lakers 106 (Lakers lead series 2-1)
Game 4: Sept. 24, 9 p.m. (TNT)
Game 5: Sept. 26, 9 p.m. (TNT)
Game 6: Sept. 28, TBD (TNT)*
Game 7: Sept. 30, TBD (TNT)*
*If necessary

NBA playoffs schedule 2020: Second Round results

Eastern Conference

No. 3 Boston beat No. 2 Toronto 4-3

No. 5 Miami beat No. 1 Milwaukee 4-1

Western Conference

No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers beat Houston 4-1

No. 3 Denver beat No. 2 Los Angeles Clippers 4-3

NBA playoffs schedule 2020: First Round results

Western Conference

No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers beat No. 8 Portland 4-1

No. 2 L.A. Clippers beat No. 7 Dallas 4-2

No. 3 Denver beat No. 6 Utah 4-3

No. 4 Houston beat No. 5 Oklahoma City 4-3

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Milwaukee beat No. 8 Orlando 4-1

No. 2 Toronto beat No. 7 Brooklyn 4-0

No. 3 Boston beat No. 6 Philadelphia 4-0

No. 5 Miami beat No. 4 Indiana 4-0