Pacers dominate Bucks to even series

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MILWAUKEE, April 24, (AP): As a former champion on a team without much postseason experience, Pascal Siakam understands what it’s going to take for the Indiana Pacers to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
Siakam’s certainly doing his part.

The former Toronto Raptors forward scored 37 points and the Pacers overcame another fantastic first-half performance from Damian Lillard to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 125-108 on Tuesday night and tie their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at a game apiece.
Game 3 is Friday in Indianapolis.

“We’ve got to be the hungry team,” Siakam said. “We’ve got to be the team that’s coming in and wanting to show something. That’s the attitude that we’ve got to have against those guys because they’ve done it before.”

The Pacers had plenty of appetite Tuesday as they snapped a 10-game playoff losing streak that began with a Game 7 loss to Cleveland in a 2018 first-round series.

Indiana acquired Siakam in January in part because of his experience as a member of the 2019 Toronto Raptors championship team. He followed up his 36-point performance in Game 1 by shooting 16 of 23 from the floor and finishing with 11 rebounds and six assists on Tuesday.

According to Stats Perform, Siakam is the first NBA player to open a postseason with consecutive 35-point, 10-rebound performances since Wilt Chamberlain in 1967.
“His experience in the playoffs is so valuable,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s not a guy that’s going to get rattled by anything. Never had one since January, since we got him. He’s a guy that people confide in and look up to.”

The Pacers needed Siakam to step up because Lillard was once again coming up huge for the Bucks, at least in the first two periods.

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