Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and the Bucks bounced back from one of their weakest performances of the season to rout the Indiana Pacers 119-100 on Wednesday night.
Two nights after losing 105-89 in Miami, the Bucks improved to 53-9 as they get ready for a three-game trip west that starts Friday at the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers. Milwaukee hasn’t lost back-to-back games all season.
Indiana had a four-game winning streak snapped as it fell into a tie with Philadelphia for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Pacers also lost guard Malcolm Brogdon to a sore left hip in the second quarter.
The Pacers also were without Victor Oladipo for the second straight game because of a sore right knee. Milwaukee was missing reserve guards George Hill (groin contusion) and Kyle Korver (back soreness).
This game marked a return to form for the NBA’s highest-scoring team.
After scoring at least 100 points in 83 consecutive regular-season games - the third-longest streak in NBA history - the Bucks failed to reach the century mark in a 93-85 victory at Charlotte on Sunday and their loss at Miami.
But they got there with time to spare Wednesday. with Eric Bledsoe hitting a 3-pointer to give the Bucks a 101-81 edge with 9:02 left.
Middleton had 20 points and Donte DiVincenzo matched a career-high with 19 for the Bucks. Bledsoe added 16 and Wesley Matthews had 15.
T.J. Warren scored 18 points and Doug McDermott had 16 for the Pacers. Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and T.J. McConnell had 14 points.
Milwaukee led 33-11 less than 10 minutes into the game but missed all eight of its 3-point attempts in the second quarter as its halftime advantage shrunk to 58-56.
In the opening minute of the third quarter, the Pacers forced the first tie since a 2-2 start. The Bucks responded a few minutes later by taking a 78-64 lead with a 15-2 run that culminated with Matthews banking in a 3-pointer.
The Bucks stayed in front by double digits the rest of the way and led by as much as 28.
Sabonis recorded his 48th double-double of the year and is one away from Troy Murphy’s record for the most by a Pacer in a single season since the franchise joined the NBA in 1976. Murphy had 49 double-doubles in 2008-09. Sabonis also had seven assists.
The Bucks are 13-1 against Central Division teams this season. The lone loss came Feb. 12 at Indiana, but Antetokounmpo didn’t play in that game.
Indiana continues its five-game trip Friday night at Chicago.