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Bucks vs. Wizards Recap: Giannis scores career-high 39 in dominating win, 123-96

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Milwaukee dominates all facets of the game in a career night for Giannis Antetokounmpo

You know what's exciting? Winning a close game. You know what's also exciting? Obliterating an opponent, and the Bucks did just that against the Wizards in a 123-96 destructive performance.

Giannis played like a true professional tonight, finishing with a career-high 39 points (12-19 shooting), eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block. Likewise, Jabari played like a slightly milder true professional, with 21 points, eight rebounds, three assists and four stocks. Malcolm Brogdon even tallied a career high 17 points on a perfect 7-7 night (3-3 from three) and had seven assists. Thon Maker had a dunk, a three, and the greatest applause to shot ratio of all time.

John Wall had 18 points and ten assists, and Otto Porter and matched him with 18 as well. Beal had 10, but their normally stout starters were overwhelmed tonight, with all of them finishing with a negative plus-minus.

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Milwaukee was a whirlwind force all night long, shooting 56% compared to Washington’s 47%. The Wiz shot only 29% on three on 7-24 shooting, with the Bucks shooting a still mediocre 36% on 9-25 from deep. Milwaukee dominated the fast break game, outscoring Washington 27-8 and winning the battle in the paint by 20 points.

After a Tony Snell initial miss to start the game, he got a second chance to put the Bucks ahead and hit it to start the game. Giannis looked like a dynamo in the first, responding to any Wizards’ run with a series of drive to the hoops to finish with 10 on the quarter on 4-5 shooting. Otto Porter wound up playing after a questionable status going in, and kept the Wizards close in the first with 11 points. The first quarter closed on a Jason Terry three whipping the crowd into a frenzy as the Bucks led 37-29.

The second quarter was a further Bucks beatdown, with Greg Monroe starting out early pulverizing Wizards’ defender down low and even slamming home a rare dunk. Jabari flourished too, finding his way to the rim in transition and half court as a truly nasty Jabari putback gave Milwaukee a 60-42 lead. A Malcolm Brogdon steal followed by a dainty grandmother level needle thread bounce pass for a Giannis dunk and a 66-47 lead as Washington called a timeout with three minutes left.

Giannis kept his feet firmly at the basket as the half wound down, hitting a contested shot underneath the hoop and drawing free throws. Jason Smith made an and-one for the Wizards as the half concluded, but the Bucks remained ahead with a prodigious offensive first half to lead 73-58.

Giannis led with 24 points on 8-11 shooting, continuing his recent free throw propensity hitting 8-8. Jabari Parker added 14 and Greg Monroe had 10 points and seven rebounds as the Bucks shot a spectacular 67% on the half despite only being 4-11 on threes. Otto Porter led the Wiz with 16 on 6-7 shooting, with John Wall tallying 10 points and seven assists and Markieff Morris at 11 points. The Wiz were a decent 51% on the half, and that included their strong 7-13 (54%) performance from deep.

The lead only increased after a Snell layup and Delly three to start the third. John wall cut into the lead, nailing a left block jumper over some good Jabari on-ball D to make it 79-65. Giannis decided to one up it with a powerful dunk and-one on the other end immediately after. An alley-oop from Delly a few possessions later gave Giannis 30 on the night and the Bucks an 84-67 lead.

Tony Snell, ever the quiet on-court companion, even dunked home a wide open jam in transition as the Bucks kept up a commanding 91-70 lead. A Brogdon three after a kickout from Giannis near the end of the third gave Milwaukee a 20 point lead, and a Giannis bank shot on the ensuing possession put Milwaukee ahead 100-78 as the third quarter closed. Giannis sat at a quite comfortable 32 points already.

If the Wizards had any magic led to start the fourth, a filthy Giannis alley-oop from Brogdon burned whatever mysticism might have been left in their squad. Giannis got to a career high 36 points to put Milwaukee up 106-80 in the fourth, but he added on three FT to finish with an even more impressive 39 before exiting around the six minute mark to raucous applause.

Thon Maker came in with 7:50 left in the fourth quarter. He got a cherry pick dunk and follows it with a three to make it 116-86. The BMO’s walls nearly crumbled afterwards. Milwaukee salted it away down the stretch and prevailed, 123-96.

Thought:

Giannis MVP chants broke out during the fourth quarter. They were slightly less far fetched than the MVP chants that briefly broke out for him during the Bulls playoff series two seasons ago.