Last week seems like so long ago, doesn't it?
After taking a few games to find their sea legs, the Milwaukee Bucks rattled off their fourth consecutive win and topped the Brooklyn Nets for the second time this season, 94-86, inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
After a relatively even first half, the Bucks (4-3) grabbed hold of the game in the second half thanks to great performances by Greg Monroe and Jerryd Bayless. Monroe, whose one-on-one matchup with Brook Lopez dictated a good amount of the first half, poured in 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting while snaring eight rebounds. The outing backed up the 23/13 performance he had at the Barclays Center this past Monday. Bayless, who also was impactful in the previous game against the Nets (26 points, 6-of-10 from deep), led the charge with 14 second half points and finished with 19 overall. Khris Middleton chipped in with one of his better performances of the year: 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
The first quarter was anything but a work of art and saw the Bucks trailing 24-18. A brief sequence of events early for Giannis Antetokounmpo saw him drill a corner three and follow that up with a leak-out dunk. Giannis slid into the rearview mirror following that stretch, finishing with 11 points and six boards.
Jabari Parker started the game and played just over 24 minutes, a surprise in a couple of ways. Head coach Jason Kidd said earlier that Parker would likely sit out the second game of back-to-backs in the early stages of his return, and that 20 minutes would be the ceiling. Parker finished 4-of-7 from the field and added eight points in a season-high 24 minutes.
With Michael-Carter Williams out for another game due to an ankle strain, Tyler Ennis got the start and again fell victim to foul trouble, grabbing two early fouls in the first quarter. The offense stalled without him to end that frame, and his return in the second helped fuel a 13-4 run that leveled the score at 44-44 upon halftime.
The Nets lost center Brook Lopez — their only source of offense on the night — in the third quarter because of a foot injury (yikes), allowing Milwaukee to surge ahead and not relinquish the lead. Brooklyn was led by Lopez's 20 points, while Thaddeus Young helped out with 18. The Nets are just really bad. I mean, they'll win a game at some point, but man, there is just no real concept of running an offense from this crew, is there? When Lopez was on the bench, you might as well have switched out the shot clock with a sun dial.
Milwaukee will look to make it five in a row Tuesday against the Celtics.