The Milwaukee Bucks and Memphis Grizzlies switched leads 16 times in Milwaukee Saturday night, but the Bucks ultimately had the lead when it mattered the most, dealing Memphis their first loss of the season on Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Down 91-90 with 15 seconds left, the Bucks were forced to foul Mike Conley, who went 1-of-2 from the free throw line to keep Milwaukee in the game down just two. The Bucks got the ball back and Brandon Knight scored after taking it strong to the rack plus the foul, calmly hitting the subsequent free throw to give the Bucks their final margin. Memphis missed a three from the top of the key with 1.1 left, giving Milwaukee their third win and sending a spirited crowd home happy.
Here's our quick recap of everything that happened during tonight's game:
Milwaukee got off to a fast start with two early threes from Brandon Knight and Jabari Parker, helping the Bucks jump out to a 7-0 early lead. Memphis shot the ball poorly from the field, going 6-of-20 (30 percent) to start the game, but got back into the game by slowing the tempo and forcing the Bucks into seven turnovers in the first eight minutes.
Soon after, Larry Sanders picked up two bad early fouls that sent him to the bench after doing a solid job containing powerful big men Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. With Sanders gone, the Grizzles capitalized, and charged back to eventually lead 23-21 at the end of the first with Gasol scoring eight. Ersan Ilyasova led the Bucks with seven points in the first, with Knight and Parker each adding five.
Sanders continued to stay in foul trouble during the second, while Memphis made their living at the line with a whopping 20 fouls shots in the first half.
On the positive side for the Bucks, O.J. Mayo continued to dish the ball out well, recording three of his seven assists early to start the second. Milwaukee registered 15 total assists in the first half, with Knight also adding a solid four. Randolph ended up banking a half-court buzzer beater, to end the half which helped the Grizzlies go up 51-44.
Memphis had a 10-point lead cut to just three with under three minutes left in the third. Despite the Grizzlies shooting 30 free throws through three quarters, Bucks managed to stay within six in large part by limiting the Grizz to just 37% shooting. Mayo nailed a triple to cut the deficit to just one at the start of the final quarter, and forced Dave Joerger to call a timeout.
The two teams then battled back and forth down the stretch, as Milwaukee simply refused to go away. Giannis Antetokounmpo slammed down an outlet pass to put Milwaukee up 81-80 with roughly seven minutes left, two of his career-best 18 points.
The Bucks got the ball with 8.2 seconds left on the clock, as Knight took the ball straight to rim and scored inside with a free throw pending. That left 1.1 remaining on the clock, and after Knight nailed the shot, put the Grizzles in a tough spot. A Memphis field goal bounced right off the glass, sealing a Bucks win.
After a stretch of three games in four days, Milwaukee will be off until Tuesday as they get set face the Oklahoma City Thunder at home.