NBA Game Preview - Pacers v Bucks

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Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Indiana 26 26 24 25 101
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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CTNaN:� , January 3, 2018
BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin  Attendance: 15,613

Pacers continue life with Oladipo versus Bucks

According to STATS
According to STATS

Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks

  1. Indiana and Milwaukee have split their last 12 meetings 6-6 dating back to the start of the 2014-15 season. The Pacers have turned the ball over 18.0 times per game in those 12 games, their most turnovers per game versus any single opponent since that time.
  2. The Pacers lost 107-90 on Sunday to the Timberwolves, but they enter tonight's game with two days of rest. Indiana is 7-2 (.778) this season when playing with at least two days of rest, tied (with Houston and Detroit) for the best record in the NBA.
  3. The Bucks lost 131-127 in overtime to the Raptors on Monday. It was their 10th consecutive game decided by single digits, tying the longest such streak in franchise history.
  4. Victor Oladipo (knee) will miss his fourth consecutive game and fifth game of the season tonight. The Pacers are 0-4 without their star shooting guard this season.
  5. Giannis Antetokounmpo has recorded at least 20 points and five rebounds in 24 consecutive games. The last player with a longer such streak was Shaquille O'Neal (27 straight) in 2000-01.
  6. The Bucks have shot at least 45.0 percent from the field in 13 consecutive games. It's the longest streak of its kind in the league this season.

MILWAUKEE -- The Indiana Pacers will be without a major weapon Wednesday night when they open the new year against the Bucks in Milwaukee.

Guard Victor Oladipo won't be available for a fourth consecutive game because of soreness in his right knee.

Oladipo leads Indiana with 24.9 points per game on 48.5 percent shooting this season while also grabbing 5.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists. Without him in the lineup, the Pacers have struggled to replace his production and recorded their second- and third-lowest point totals of the season in losses to Minnesota and Dallas.

"He was doing a lot for us, as far as scoring and leading transition and bringing a kind of leadership role and energy that our guys feed off of," Indiana coach Nate McMillan said Tuesday. "You know, it's not only the fans (he energizes) with his playmaking."

The Pacers have dropped five straight games without Oladipo in their lineup this season and come into Milwaukee with a four-game losing streak overall.

"Our intensity is down from the beginning of the season," Indiana center Myles Turner said. "I'm not sure if that's an effort thing or just being tired. I don't know what it is, but we have to nip it in the bud."

While the Pacers look to fill Oladipo's void, the Bucks are starting to return to full strength after playing most of the season short-handed because of a lengthy list of injuries.

Among the group of walking wounded was point guard Matthew Dellavedova, who missed more than a month because of tendinitis in his left knee.

When he returned to action Dec. 19, his minutes were limited as the team eased him back into the rotation. But he played 25 and 29 minutes, respectively, in Milwaukee's last two games and dished out 19 assists in those contests, marking his highest two-game total since December 2017.

"He's a student of the game," Bucks coach Jason Kidd said after Dellavedova finished with 10 assists in an overtime loss at Toronto on Monday night. "It showed last night being able to find the open guys and his toughness and getting guys open. We missed that. He makes the game easy with the pass. ... He's one of our best screen-setters, he's a guy that can find open guys, he's very unselfish."

Dellavedova, signed to a four-year contract prior to last season, moved into a reserve role upon rookie Malcolm Brogdon's emergence as the starter. But he played a similar role while with the Cavaliers and as a reserve in Milwaukee, has been counted on to provide a much-needed spark on both ends of the court.

"Delly, man, Delly he's a terrific basketball player," Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe said. "His IQ is off the charts. When he's in, he just moves the ball, gets everybody involved, keeps everybody on the same page. He's always talking out there so you need that."

Milwaukee won three of its four meetings with the Pacers last season with Giannis Antetokounmpo averaging 23.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.0 steals in the series.

Updated January 3, 2018

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