Damian Lillard Tyrese Haliburton
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Damian Lillard hits 35 in half, sets Bucks' playoff record vs Pacers

Published April 22, 2024 at 11:29
BY KEVIN BARREAU
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Damian Lillard delivered an exceptional performance that will be remembered as one of the most unique in recent playoff history, scoring 35 points in the first half and then not registering a single point in the second half. This display came during the Milwaukee Bucks' 109-94 triumph over the Indiana Pacers, marking the opening game of their Eastern Conference first-round series on Sunday. Notably, Lillard's first-half achievement set a new Bucks record for the most points scored in either half of a postseason game.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined due to a strained calf, Lillard took center stage, exploding for 19 points in just the first quarter alone. His scoring spree was the most by any player in a playoff game's first half since Kevin Durant's 38 points during a 2019 Golden State Warriors match against the Los Angeles Clippers. Unlike Durant, who finished his game with 50 points, Lillard did not score in the second half.

This unusual scoring pattern marked a first since the play-by-play era began in 1995Śno other player had scored so heavily in one half and then gone scoreless in the next in any NBA playoff or regular-season game. The previous closest was Devin Booker, who scored 31 in a half before going scoreless in the next during a 2022 playoff game.

Lillard strategically chose to play conservatively in the second half, focusing on long-term strategy over immediate scoring. He only took five shots after halftime, facilitating greater involvement from his teammates. Khris Middleton, Bobby Portis, and Brook Lopez all took more shots than Lillard in the second half, with Middleton scoring 15 of his 23 points during this period.


The Pacers, having witnessed Lillard's explosive first half, are now focused on adjusting their strategy to mitigate his impact in future games of the series.

Source TSN : Lillard sets Bucks' postseason mark with 35 points in opening half vs Pacers
Source Yahoo Sports : Bucks' Damian Lillard's 35 first-half points spark playoff win over Pacers
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Damian Lillard hits 35 in half, sets Bucks' playoff record vs Pacers

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