Tyler Ennis, Rashad Vaughn, Damien Inglis, Miles Plumlee, and John Henson played all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter and outscored the Grizzlies 28-13 to lead the Bucks to a 96-86 thrilling victory inside an electric BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Here's hoping you weren't planning on skimming over this recap.
Both teams started off with a focus on the offensive end and each scored 32 first quarter points. For the Grizzlies, it was all Matt Barnes, who scored 18 points in the opening period. On the other side, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored four points and picked up six assists.
Things started to get ugly in the second quarter with the Bucks scoring just 15 points. Instead of running out to a big lead, though, the Grizzlies were only able to score 21 and take a 53-47 lead into the half. The third quarter didn't offer much respite from the ugliness as both teams combined for 41 points with the Bucks trailing 73-68 heading into the fourth quarter.
Jason Kidd brought in a full bench unit with two bigs (Henson and Plumlee) to start the quarter and they forced four Grizzlies turnovers, which they turned into six points to quickly take a 74-73 lead. The Grizzlies took a timeout to stop the run with 9:47 left and Kidd stayed with his bench guys. Returning from the timeout, the bench unit rattled off a 9-2 run that gave the Bucks a 83-75 lead as the game headed towards a timeout with 5:47 remaining. Again, Kidd stuck with his bench after the timeout, and then, somehow, things got even more interesting.
With the Bucks up ten, Lance Stephenson corralled a shot that Inglis had blocked into the ground. He then went up to shoot it, but Henson grabbed both of his arms and threw him to the ground. Stephenson was upset and charged Henson, who did not back down, but rather stuck out his chin towards Stephenson. Both players were split up and Henson received a flagrant-1 and technical foul for the incident.
The incident gave the Grizzlies a chance to cut the deficit to seven, but the Bucks were once again able to hold them off with three baskets from Ennis and two free-throws from Henson and Plumlee. With a 10-point Bucks lead and just a few moments left, it appeared as though the game was coming to a close, but that would not be the case.
As Barnes went to the basket for a lightly contested basket, Henson came out of nowhere and swatted the shot into the baseline photographers. Upon landing, he decided to stare down Barnes, who did not appreciate the attention from Henson. The officials gave Henson a second technical for his post-block antics and Henson exited the floor to the delight of the arena crowd. Shortly after Henson made his way to the locker room, Barnes trailed after him, but no one is quite sure what happened next.
After a few minutes to sort out the fracas on the floor, the final 5.5 seconds played out and the Bucks secured a 96-86 victory on a night their starters went through the motions in the first three quarters and their bench saved the day.
The Bucks will be in action again on Sunday as they welcome the Utah Jazz to Milwaukee. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CST.
- The Grizzlies are riddled with injuries. They started Lance Stephenson at point guard with Tony Allen, Matt Barnes, JaMychal Green, and Ryan Hollins as the other starters.
- Damien Inglis entered the game for Jabari Parker with 3:21 left in the first quarter. He also played in the third quarter before playing the entire fourth quarter. On Thursday night, it appeared as Inglis might have taken Johnny O'Bryant's minutes in the Bucks rotations.
- Rashad Vaughn attempted to dunk on Ryan Hollins in the second quarter. No one has Vine'd it.
- Matt Barnes scored 18 points in the first quarter. He ended the game with 20 points.
- I still can't really believe I attended a game that featured Point Born Ready and Point Giannis.
- The bench was unbelievable in the fourth quarter. Tyler Ennis was getting to the rack with ease, scoring 13 points in the quarter. Damien Inglis was all over the floor, collecting four points, four rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. Rashad Vaughn hit a couple of shots in the fourth quarter after struggling mightily in his eight first half minutes. I'm not as sure about Vaughn, but Ennis and Inglis certainly earned spots in the rotation for the next few games.
- There have been times in the last two games where Antetokounmpo has tried to do a little bit too much. It has often come as the Bucks have struggled offensively, which makes sense, but he'll certainly have to improve on that as he matures in his more involved role.
- At halftime, the Bucks had a ceremony celebrating 30 years of broadcasting excellence from Jim Paschke and Jon McGlocklin. It was excellent. They are excellent.
- Parker struggled on the night. He started the game off 3-for-4 with six first quarter points before missing his final seven shots. He appeared to be rushing things a bit as he started to struggle.