The Bucks notched their 20th win of the season Friday Night, handling the Minnesota Timberwolves--losers of 14 straight games now--with relative ease, winning 98-84. It wasn't a clean game by any stretch, but a win is a win, and this particular one snaps a four-game losing skid on the home court.
It was an up and down affair for Milwaukee most of the night. The Bucks shot 52 percent from the floor, but didn't have a player score over 14 points. Brandon Knight was said leading scorer (with 4 assists), followed by O.J. Mayo (12p/4a) and John Henson (12p/2b). The Bucks offense was good at times (30 assists, 12-19 three-point shooting), but also quite bad (22 turnovers, 46 in the last two games). Fortunately, the Wolves couldn't make the Bucks pay for the mistakes, though they did work the lead down 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Andrew Wiggins continued his streak of impressive performances tonight, tallying 20p/7r/5a, even if it came on 6-17 shooting. He displayed his brilliant athleticism in attacking the basket, but also his smarts with passing out of double teams all night. Unfortunately for the Wolves (and fortunately for the Bucks), there wasn't much help for the rookie, as two Wolves (Shabazz Muhammed and Thaddeus Young) were the only other players in double digits, each with 12 points.
The big difference in tonight's game was the second quarter, where the Bucks outscored the Wolves 34-16. Minnesota shot 6-16 (37.5 percent) while the Bucks were shooting at a sizzling 82.4 percent (14-17), including 5-7 from distance. Outside of the second quarter, the Wolves outscored the Bucks 68-62 in the other three quarters combined.
-- In the last two games, the Bucks have coughed up 46 turnovers (against two bad teams), which is gross. However, they've had 62 assists in those two games.
-- Giannis Antetokounmpo was limited by foul trouble for most of the second half, but still managed to pitch in with 10p/7r on 5-9 shooting. It seems silly to say that it was just an ordinary performance, but I reckon it's a good thing that we've come to expect a bit more from him at this stage in his development.
-- The three KMs on the Bucks (Kendall Marshall, Khris Middleton, (recently added) Kenyon Martin) all did some decent things tonight that were within their level of comfort. Marshall had nine assists in just 19 minutes, Middleton made a few shots and grabbed boards while spacing the floor and not causing too much trouble, and Kenyon Martin set hard picks and threw down lobs.
Not much of it was special--a common theme for tonight's game--but it all helped keep the Bucks far enough ahead. I'll take it.
-- 20 wins on January 9th. That's crazy, man. I still can't comprehend that.
-- O.J. Mayo's 12 points all came on threes, of which he shot 100% on. If he keeps that up he will probably become a much happier person, as will we.
-- Speaking of three-point shooting, the Bucks 63.2 percent perimeter mark is their highest percentage with at least 15 attempts since December 20th of 2006.
The Bucks have one more game before their trip to London. That's tomorrow night on the road in Chicago against the Bulls. At a glance, Chicago is the much better team, but they got clobbered in their last home game against the Utah Jazz and are traveling back to Chicago after losing to the Wizards in Washington by 16 tonight. Can the Bucks pull off the upset on the road and reach their season-high watermark of three games over .500?