Milwaukee couldn't win their second straight regular-season game Saturday night as they were topped 108-97 by the Washington Wizards in D.C. Brandon Knight (24 pts, 6 rebs, 6 ast) and Jerryd Bayless (20) put on strong performances and combined for 44 points as the lone bright spots in the team's loss.
Here's our recap of the game that was:
The Bucks were ice-cold shooting the basketball in the first quarter, starting 7-of-20 (35%) from the field. Knight remained the only bright spot from a scoring perspective early, contributing nine points on 4-of-7 shooting. Washington controlled the paint early with Marcin Gortat adding nine points (3-of-3 from the floor) and pulling four boards.
After trailing 29-17, Milwaukee went on a 9-2 run and forced Washington to call a timeout after shrinking their lead from 16 to just seven with nine minutes remaining in the second. A minute later, Ersan Ilyasova knocked down a three to cut the deficit to just four. Even with the sudden boost, Larry Sanders, John Henson and Zaza Pachulia had no answer for Gortat, who remained perfect from the field until he hit front rim on a poor floater near the three-minute mark.
Paul Pierce made life a lot easier for the Bucks with the half ending as he argued a clear-path foul, leading to him getting ejected in his home debut. Pierce gave Knight three points, leaving Milwaukee within five heading into the tunnel (49-44).
Knight led all scorers with 16 points as Milwaukee went on a 17-8 run to end the half, while Jabari Parker was next on the chart in points with only five--his first basket a dunk after flashing on the baseline, his second a triple from the left corner.
Milwaukee continued to struggle protecting the basketball as the game went on, committing an ugly 27 turnovers overall. Bayless came along as a bright spot off the bench adding 11 points early, and 14 down the stretch in the fourth quarter. The bench came up big for the Bucks, giving them 42 points compared to 27 from the Wizards, but the starters weren't able to give Knight any sort of help. The starting-five for Washington -- excluding an ejected Piece -- all finished in double figures.
Technical fouls were given out like hot cakes, as O.J. Mayo, John Wall and head coach Jason Kidd were all assessed techs by officials. Speaking of Mayo, we saw a bit more of him in the second half, but he struggled to stay out of foul trouble and generally couldn't find any of the rhythm we saw in his 25-point performance on Friday. In a serious bit of mean reversion, Mayo committed four fouls in his first five minutes and finished the game with just three points on 1-of-7 from the field.
The Wizards really didn't let up down the stretch as they continued to increase their lead with the game winding down. Otto Porter and Garrett Temple both nailed big shots in the fourth to keep Washington distant from Milwaukee.
Jabari Parker ended up recording his second-straight double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds), but he finished the game just 5-of-17 from the field, missing repeatedly from midrange while struggling to take care of the ball (five turnovers). Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo played just 13 minutes and finished with 4 pts on 2/3 shooting. He added three rebounds and a block, but also turned it over three times (twice from catching the ball with a foot on the sideline) and saw the court only briefly in the second half.
With the loss, Milwaukee now falls to 1-2, and will get ready to face the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday in Indy.