I had dinner last week with Mike Bauman former Milwaukee Journal sports columnist and current MLB.com columnist and I gave him the list of my five greatest home Bucks games in the history of the franchise. I prefaced my list by telling Mike I was lucky enough to attend all five of the games in person (I attended almost every Bucks home game from 1970-1991) at either the Milwaukee Arena or the Bradley Center. In chronological order:
1) January 7, 1971 Knicks 103 at Bucks 116
After not being able to beat the defending World Champion Knicks all season, the Bucks make a statement as the Big O goes for 35 points in the best game I saw him play for the Bucks. The Knicks were the Bucks nemesis and were responsible for maybe the Bucks worst loss when they blew a 20 point lead in the 4th quarter.
2) January 9, 1972 Lakers 104 at Bucks 120
The Bucks end the Lakers 33 game winning streak in a nationally televised game. The night before, the Bucks played the Pistons at the Arena and Jerry West, Pat Riley, Gail Goodrich and Happy Hairston all sat in the row behind my Dad and I. I still have my Bucks program with their autographs.
3) May 2, 1983 Celtics 93 at Bucks 107
The Bucks sweep Larry Bird and the Celtics in Game 4 and move onto face the Sixers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
4) Sunday May 11, 1986 Sixers 112 at Bucks 113
Dr. J's jumper hits the back of the rim in Game 7, Nellie jumps for joy along with the rest of the Milwaukee Arena fans as the Bucks finally get past the Sixers in the playoffs and move on to the Eastern Conference finals vs. Boston. The only other sporting event that I can compare the Milwaukee fans euphoria during and after the game was the Brewers Game 5 ALCS Pennant winning game in 1982 at Milwaukee County stadium. If I had to pick the most thrilling, exciting and emotional Bucks game in franchise history this would be my pick.
5) Friday June 1, 2001 Sixers 100 at Bucks 110
Game 6 was over at half time as Ray Allen caught fire bringing sending the Bradley Center into delirium and brought the Bucks to within one game of going to the Finals.