The plus/minuses for the Bucks starters were -19/-25/-25/-21/-13. The plus/minuses for the Clippers starters were: 5/23/20/24/25. That pretty much sums it up. While they led by as many as 11 in the first half, the Bucks ultimately couldn't hang with the Clippers' starters Wednesday night, falling 109-95.
The Bucks' leading scorer on the night was Michael Carter-Williams with 20 points in 32 minutes off the bench. He also added 11 assists and was generally a positive and calming force for the Bucks. Though the starters were beat decisively by the Clippers starters, there were a few solid performances. Greg Monroe recorded his 12th double-double of the season with 16 points and ten rebounds. Giannis Antetokounmpo was able to score 15 points (nine in the fourth quarter) and grab six rebounds, but was again plagued by foul trouble, which seemed to affect his aggressiveness once again. O.J. Mayo started at point guard for the third straight game and posted the best plus/minus among the starters (-13), scored 14 points, and dished out eight assists.
Overall though, the Bucks simply weren't able to contain the Clippers' offense. J.J. Redick scored 31 points on the night, just the fifth time he's scored more than 30 points in a game in his ten-year NBA career. Chris Paul benefited from many of Redick's makes and tallied 18 assists on the night to go with 18 points. When Redick didn't score, Blake Griffin did. He ended the night with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
All in all, the Bucks' starters just couldn't handle the Clippers' starters and it proved to be too much. Milwaukee will take a quick road trip to Toronto for a Friday night game against the Raptors before returning to Milwaukee to take on the undefeated Golden State Warriors. Tip-off on Friday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CST.
- First quarter entrances: Michael Carter-Williams at 5:26. Rashad Vaughn at 4:47. Johnny O'Bryant at 3:06.
- Carter-Williams put up some great numbers at the end of the first quarter and start of the second quarter, but multiple criticisms of the Clippers' defense would have been valid, too.
- In the middle of the second quarter, the Bucks went to a Henson-Mayo pick and roll that resulted in two pull up jumpers for Mayo as DeAndre Jordan refused to come past the free throw line to guard it.
- DeAndre Jordan tap outs were a problem for the Bucks on the defensive glass. (Unofficially, I believe five of his five offensive rebounds were tap outs that extended possessions.)
- The Clippers were very active in transition during the second quarter, as Wesley Johnson threw down two dunks and Chris Paul was able to grab an easy lay-in.
- After avoiding it for a few games, the Bucks gave up an 11-0 3rd quarter run tonight as the Clippers went from trailing 56-52 to leading 63-56. Carter-Williams entered in the third quarter around this time and helped halt the run and calm the Bucks.
- Mayo-MCW-Vaughn-Parker-Henson to start the fourth quarter.
- Two times tonight, Blake Griffin beat everybody down the floor and sealed Parker above him for Chris Paul to lob it over the top. Griffin was able to score on each play. (More on this later.)
- I think I can only say this because Johnny O'Bryant has so often been in this position, but O'Bryant knows how to professionally commit a foul when he is the last one left defending an opponent's fast break.
- Rashad Vaughn played 17 minutes on the night. It seems like he's figuring out how to do non-scoring things a little bit better now, but I'm still not sure he does quite enough of those things to warrant getting more minutes. Also, there were multiple occasions in which he went to the basket and passed it tonight. It was even a very bad decision the one time he passed it to Monroe late in the shot clock. Strange stuff.
- Jabari Parker runs his lanes hard all the time, which is good in theory. Sometimes though, he doesn't give passers the best lanes on fast breaks. Tonight, in the second quarter, MCW ended up throwing a pass behind Parker and he had to force an awkward reverse layup up at the rim that he ultimately missed.
- People thought Jabari Parker wasn't that athletic coming out of college. The people that think these things are wrong.
- Bucks went Hack-a-Jordan in the fourth quarter. Jordan hit four of his eight attempts, but following a miss on one of his trips to the line, the Clippers were able to tip the ball out to Redick for a three. After the game, Kidd said, "I'm not a big fan of (the strategy). The one thing I thought we could do is come up with some rebounds [off missed free throws], and it backfired."
- When asked about the Bucks transition defense post-game, Kidd took his critique a step further and said, "One of the things we need to get better at as a team is when we score the ball. We must lead the league in giving up a basket after a score."