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Rapid Recap: Bucks 91, Thunder 110

Milwaukee’s starters get scared off the court early as OKC blasts Milwaukee

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks may as well have reached into the candy bucket and pulled out a root beer flavored Dum Dum tonight, laying an egg against the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-91. Milwaukee went into halftime after a horrid first two periods, trailing 60-42 with just 40% shooting overall and 18.8% (3-16) from deep. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City ran ragged inside, doubling up the Bucks on their usual bread and butter, points in the paint, with 28 compared to Milwaukee’s 14. Little changed in the second half, even with Giannis able to hit a few outside jumpers. OKC manhandled Milwaukee all night and the scrubs came in with 10 minutes to go in the fourth.

Milwaukee’s offense looked UGLY tonight, a series of ill-advised swan dives to the hoop often ending with a forced shot at the rim or kick-outs that wound up as difficult jumpers. Even Giannis was forced to work hard for his points tonight, twisting and weaving his way past Andre Roberson for shots at the rim. There was almost no flow all night, with Milwaukee unable to find open shooters, and several gunners reticent to fire away. Tonight was a game against another quality opponent meant to be a measuring stick, and Milwaukee came up plenty short in comparison tonight. They looked overmatched the entire night.

Giannis ran into foul trouble in the first half tonight, getting three early and riding the pine for a good portion of the second quarter. Jason Kidd called it quits with 10 minutes to go in the fourth too, as he ended his night with 28 points, 8 rebounds and three assists in just 28 minutes. Still an effective, efficient night with 9-14 shooting including 2-3 from deep, but nowhere near the end result he wants.

His Buck compatriots were spooked by something tonight, because they might as well have been ghosts on the court. No one else reached double figures and Khris Middleton hit just 3-13 (admittedly at least five of those barely rattled out) for nine points and seven rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon attempted just four shots and finished with four points.

OKC was led by their new trio tonight, with Paul George leading them at 20 points, Russell Westbrook adding his typical 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists while Hoodie Melo ended at 17 points and eight boards.

Stat that Stood Out

OKC pummeled Milwaukee on the boards, Steven Adams in particular wreaking havoc on the lightrail frames of Thon Maker and John Henson. The Thunder ended the night plus-15 in overall rebounds, including plus-5 on offensive boards. OKC’s offensive rebounding rate was actually 1.6% below their season average though (26.6%), but their outsized defensive rebounding rate (90.2%) meant Milwaukee didn’t have any chance to capitalize on their ample amount of shanks tonight.