INDIANAPOLIS — Jrue Holiday scored 51 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo had a 38-point triple and the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks beat the Indiana Pacers 149-136 on Wednesday night.
“Obviously, I’m happy about it,” Holliday said. “It took me 14 years to score 50 points. It came in a game we should have won, so I couldn’t be happier.
Antetokounmpo added 17 rebounds and 12 assists to help the Bucks improve to 55-21. The two-time NBA MVP finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for a triple-double at halftime. Returned after sitting out Monday night in a win at Detroit because of knee soreness.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said of his high scores. “They’re phenomenal. Giannis set the tone with his aggressive offense. And then Jurou had to be 51 for the whole game, which is hard to do in an NBA game.
Holiday had 18 points in the third quarter as the Bucks scored a season-high 46 points to build a 12-point lead. He was 20 of 30 from the field with three 3-pointers and hit 8 of 10 free throws. His previous best was 40 points in an overtime win over Boston on Feb. 14.
“Along with Giannis with 38, those two guys are special, they put us on the back,” Budenholzer said.
The 6-foot-5 Holiday scored 30 points in the paint.
“I felt like Giannis,” Holliday said with a smile. “No dunks though.”
Brook Lopez added 21 points for the Bucks.
Rookie Benedict Mathurin led Indiana — in its first three scoreless games — with 29 points. Aaron Nesmith had 22 and Jordan Navora had 18. Jalen Smith had 17 in the opening fourth. Rookie Andrew Nembhardt had 15 points and 15 rebounds.
“It starts with Giannis, one of the best players in the world,” said Pip. Naora, who bought it from Bucks on 9, said. “It’s always tough to play a guy as different as him. You really have to lock him in. Then the other guys go and Zuru comes in and gets 51. It’s hard to beat them on a night like that.
Bucks: Forward Khris Middleton (knee) was inactive. He averaged 15.5 points. … Averaged 136.2 points in 3-1 season series win.
Pacers: Five inactives include All-Star point guard and leading scorer Tyrese Halliburton (ankle/elbow), center and second-leading scorer Myles Turner (back), and guard Buddy Hield (illness), the NBA’s 3-point leader.
Bucs: Host Boston Thursday night.
Pacers: Friday night at Oklahoma City.
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