Damian Lillard’s playoff debut for the Milwaukee Bucks went exactly as he wanted it to. It was Dame Time in the first half at the Pfizer Arena as he put on a memorable show in the best playoff half of his career. There was simply no stopping Lillard as he tore through the Indiana Pacers like a wrecking ball over the first two periods.

Lillard took on all-comers with a scintillating first half which saw him score 35 points on 11 of 19 shooting. The Pacers had trouble matching his scoring output as a team before finishing the half with 42 while shooting 16 of 45.


The Pacers, who entered the game with a 4-1 regular season record against the Bucks, had no answers. Pascal Siakam was the only Pacer in double figures at the half with 19 points and five rebounds. The closest to his output after were Myles Turner and Haliburton who had seven points apiece.

Lillard didn’t score in the third quarter, which had a lot to do with the Pacers outscoring them 29-14 in the period and cutting the lead to a manageable 83-71. He still didn’t score in the fourth quarter to keep his total at 35 points for the game, but the early damage that he did was something that the Pacers couldn’t recover from. Funnily, Lillard finished the game with a plus/minus of -5.

Khris Middleton also had a solid game for the Bucks with 23 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Bobby Portis, a finalist for the Sixth Man of the Year award, had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

It was playoff debut to forget for Tyrese Haliburton, who had a quintuple-single of nine points, seven rebounds, eight assists, one steal and one block. 

The only real bright spot for the Pacers was Siakam, who ended the game with 36 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Myles Turner was the only other starter to score in double digits.

If the Pacers are going to have trouble beating the Bucks without Giannis Antetokounmpo, they better hope he doesn’t come back anytime soon.