Damian Lillard sets Bucks postseason record with 35 points in first half against Pacers

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Damian Lillard set a Milwaukee Bucks postseason record on Sunday by scoring 35 points in the first half of Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers.

Lillard’s points were the most by a Bucks player in either half of a playoff game. The Bucks’ single-game playoff record is held by Giannis Antetokounmpowho had 50 points in a title-clinching Game 6 win over the Phoenix Suns.

With Antetokounmpo on the bench nursing a strained left calf on Sunday, the Bucks turned to Lillard early and often.

Lillard had 19 points in the opening period, the highest individual first-quarter total in a playoff opener since at least 1997. He had 38 points at halftime, the highest individual first-half total in a playoff game since Kevin Durant had 38 at the break for the Golden State Warriors in a 2019 first-round matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Lillard scored 16 of the Bucks’ first 20 points, all in the first nine minutes. He capped his 19-point first quarter by hitting a step-back 3-pointer at the buzzer.

He also was fouled while making a three-pointer and completed a four-point play that gave the Bucks a 30-point lead late in the first half.

Lillard shot 11 of 19 from the floor, 6 of 10 from three-point range and 7 of 7 on free throw attempts during that stellar first-half performance.