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Bucks vs. Hornets Final Score: Giannis Earns Third Triple-Double in Win Over Charlotte, 89-79

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Tony Snell, Jason Terry and Greg Monroe all crucial in Milwaukee’s victory over Charlotte

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Though it was sluggish at times, the Bucks were able to close out the regular season at the Bradley Center with a victory, toppling the Hornets by a score of 89-79.

Tony Snell and Khris Middleton led the way for the Bucks with 16 points apiece. Jason Terry was a major spark off the bench, sinking 15 points all on 3-pointers (5-of-7 from deep). Oh, and that Giannis Antetokounmpo fella? He wasn’t too shabby himself, earning a stat line of 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists; earning his third triple-double of the season.

Some sloppy play was featured by the Bucks early on, with a few errant and tipped passes. However, the Bucks were able to somehow use it to their advantage. Charlotte could never fully gain possession of the ball, and the Bucks made them play. In the opening five minutes, every Bucks starter put in a bucket, with Giannis leading the way with four quick points.

But in just a few moments, the Hornets were able to reel themselves back in it as they tied play up at 17 apiece with a few minutes remaining in the opening quarter. The Bucks would go on a brief scoring drought over the final 4:54 that saw them not hit a field goal, and it would hurt them -- going into the second period, Charlotte maintained a 24-18 lead.

Greg Monroe would finally get the Bucks back on the board with a hook shot at the 10:05 mark, getting the Charlotte lead back to single digits at 29-20. The lethargic play would seep into the midway point of the second quarter, with the Hornets frequently clinging to a double-digit advantage. Antetokounmpo and Brogdon would return to the floor and immediately, Jason Terry and Khris Middleton sunk consecutive threes, slicing the deficit to just four.

The two teams would trade buckets for the remainder of the opening half, but the Bucks put some more dents into things, heading into the locker room down 46-43.

Not much changed early on in the third quarter. It featured the Bucks getting close, but never really pulling through. As soon as Milwaukee would get within one, it seemed as if the Hornets always had an answer, extending their lead back to either two or three.

/A brief break as Gabe chokes on his water

Alright, I’m back. The paragraph above would be the case for the remainder of the third and heading into the fourth.

Milwaukee quickly knotted things up on a basket and then later on a Matthew Dellavedova 3-point field goal. It would remain even at 71 all for a number of possessions down the floor for both teams, until a Greg Monroe and-1 provided the Bucks with their first lead in a while at 74-71.

A Giannis alley-oop off an in-bounds play (!!!) would push the Bucks lead to five at 78-73, which provided Milwaukee momentum heading into the media timeout at the six minute mark. Following the break and after a few possessions, a JET 3-pointer ignited the crowd, making it 81-73 with just over four minutes remaining. He would then hit another just minutes later, creating a double-digit advantage for Milwaukee and the dagger of the night.

The icing on the cake would come with 54 ticks remaining when Giannis found an open Khris Middleton on the wing for assist No. 10 on the night, earning his third triple-double of the 2016-17 campaign.

With an energetic win at home, let’s cross our fingers that the Bucks can ride into Boston to steal another victory and therefore head into the playoffs with their feet firmly pressed on the gas pedal.

Thoughts

  • The Bucks won! They now have their first winning season since the Fear the Deer campaign of 2009-10. That’s pretty awesome.
  • Giannis earned his 33rd double-double of the season and, hey! Let’s take it one step further, shall we? He not only put forth a double-double, but a triple-double — his third of the year (10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists).
  • I’ll say this. There’s a very, very, very, very small part of me that wishes I was a Hornets fan, solely so I could rock those beautiful colors. That purple absolutely pops. Talk about a rebranding done right (but the Bucks did theirs better).
  • That block Giannis had in the first quarter was incredible. He seriously looked like a wolf hunting down its prey. You could just see it in his eyes. The hunger. The determination. The oblivious Brian Roberts had zero clue the Greek Freak was racing behind him and with a quick leap, he fell victim. Okay, that’s enough of my David Attenborough impersonation. How about you just see it again for yourselves?
  • Sure Moose has struggled recently on offense, but I think some people are not giving him credit for his active hands on defense. This season, he’s averaging 1.2 steals per game. That number ranks sixth in the league among reserves. Hats off to Monroe in that part of the game.
  • Tony Snell, who hit Charlotte with a career-high 26 points last time out, had his way against the Hornets once again. He poured in 16 points, a stat line which included 4-of-5 from deep. Snell’s like an octopus, guys (h/t @SithLordAR). He’s everywhere out there. While he always pumps up the crowd up on the offensive side of the ball with his 3-pointers, he’s a silent assassin on the defensive side of things as well, shutting his matchup down frequently. A great three-and-D player for the Bucks to have serve a valuable role in the upcoming playoffs.
  • I still do not know how Michael Kidd-Gilchrist can be a professional player in the National Basketball Association with his shot. As nasty as his shot is to watch, he’s just as nasty a defensive player I suppose.
  • Tonight marked Malcolm Brogdon’s return to the court and the starting lineup. He ended his night with only five points and though he didn’t finish with the most impressive stat line, his presence was duly noted. You could clearly tell when he was on and off the court, as his plus-minus reflected that (he ended up with a +18 on the night).
  • Jason Terry is not just a professional basketball player. Jason Terry is an ENTERTAINER. Seriously, I think he might be my favorite veteran role player ever to put on a Bucks uniform. His attitude and energy is just unmatched. I love the guy.
  • Khris Middleton rebounded in the scoring area of the stat sheet, but you can assume he wouldn’t say he felt good about his performance. It seemed as if other facets of his game were still a little rusty with passing being the most head-scratching. It seemed as if a majority of them were off the money and were either deflected or intercepted. Hopefully he can figure things out completely by the time of the playoffs, but it was appealing to see him regain some footing in the scoring department.

The Bucks conclude their 2016-17 regular season on the road against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday at 7:00pm CST. Boston and Cleveland are neck-and-neck for the Eastern Conference’s top seed, so it is unlikely that the Bucks will face the Celtics’ backups.

As the Monday games wrap up, the playoff picture will shift towards its final form, but until then we want to enjoy some vintage Jason Terry three-ball bombings, a Giannis triple-double, and a Bucks win!