In the lone NBA tilt Thursday night, Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova shot a pristine 12-of-14 from the field, en route to a career-high 34 points in Milwaukee’s 111-107 win against the visiting Indiana Pacers.
The critical victory moved the Bucks 2½ games ahead of seventh-place Miami in the Eastern Conference Playoff race.
Ilyasova scored half of his points in a red-hot first quarter.
Per the Journal Sentinel:
“He was cooking,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said of Ilyasova. “He was aggressive. He took open shots. He just didn’t settle. He also put the ball on the floor. Everything he shot pretty much went in. He’s moving as well as I’ve seen him since I’ve been here. I think being healthy has helped, but you can tell he’s moving on both ends, offensively and defensively, as well as he has in some time. […] He’s also looking for his shot, and his teammates are looking for him. Everybody has been looking for Khris (Middleton). Now they have another guy that has joined trying to help Khris with that.”
Ilyasova hit 7 of 9 shots in the opening quarter and finished 12 of 14 from the field and 5 of 6 from three-point range as he matched the highest scoring output by a Bucks player this season, tying Brandon Knight’s 34-point effort. Ilyasova topped his previous best of 32 points set three years ago against the Bulls and scored in double figures for the ninth straight game.
“We tried to go at them,” Ilyasova said. “In the first half I found myself open and I tried to make those shots. Sometimes you have days like this. I tried to stay on it. We shared the ball really well and found guys open.”