It was a windy, rainy night in Milwaukee, and the basketball being played inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center wasn't much prettier.
Despite shooting under 42% from the floor, the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Milwaukee Bucks 92-79 behind Russell Westbrook's 26 points and 24 more from Kevin Durant. The Thunder were 5-17 from three-point land, with three of those makes coming from Durant. Serge Ibaka tied a career high with 20 rebounds and blocked 4 shots while adding 15 points.
Milwaukee saw and bettered (worsed?) OKC's poor shooting with a dreadful 34.9% mark of their own as they failed to crack 80 points for the second time in as many nights. O.J. Mayo scored a team-high 22 points and hit 5 of 11 three-pointers, continuing his scalding start from behind the arc this season. Mayo has now hit 24 of his 45 attempts (53%) this season. Ekpe Udoh started at PF for the third straight game and recorded his second career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Interestingly enough, Udoh's previous double-double also came against the Thunder. John Henson was the only Buck to make at least half his shots, finishing with 10 points on 5-8 shooting with 6 rebounds and 2 blocks off the bench. Giannis Antetokounmpo threw down a gorgeous alley-oop from Luke Ridnour in the second quarter for his only field goal (below) but added five boards and a pair of blocks.
The Bucks kept the game relatively close for most of the first three quarters: the Bucks led by five midway through the first, the game was tied at 40 going into the halftime break (yeah, it wasn't pretty before that) and Milwaukee trailed by just three points with under two minutes remaining in the third. But then, just as everyone expected, Reggie Jackson led a mini-run to finish off the period and carried it right over into the fourth. OK, maybe it wasn't Jackson who you expected to lead the OKC run, but a Thunder run had seemed somewhat inevitable even if the primary culprit was a bit unexpected. Jackson scored 9 straight points across the break, pushing OKC's lead to 12 before an and-1 layup from Nate Wolters finally got the Bucks on the board in the 4th. Milwaukee held the Thunder scoreless for the better part of five minutes, eventually cutting the lead to 4 after a three from Mayo. But OKC outscored the Bucks 6-1 over the subsequent four minutes and Milwaukee never got closer than 6 the rest of the way.
The loss drops Milwaukee to 2-7, tied with Washington for the worst record in the East and only one win ahead of league-worst Jazz overall. The Bucks have the next three days off before welcoming the 7-2 Portland Trail Blazers to town Wednesday night (tip-off is at 7:00 pm). If you're interested in Bucks basketball and cool locally-designed shirts, check out the Bucks' upcoming ticket and merchandise packages. After the Blazers, the Bucks get a chance to claw back towards .500 with a stretch of nine games against the soft underbelly of the Eastern Conference (Charlotte twice, Boston twice, Detroit twice, Washington twice, and Philadelphia). And while the Bucks are technically just 1.5 games out of the 8th at the moment, that certainly won't last if they continue to win only 22% of their games.