The Milwaukee Bucks were far more impressive tonight against the Miami Heat than Sunday, but it still wasn’t enough as they fell 106-101 in the Bradley Center. Milwaukee carried a 57-52 advantage into halftime winning the second quarter by 10 points over Miami. Heading into the second half the game narrowed to a close contest as the fourth quarter continued, but the Heat managed to leap ahead and hold off the Bucks for the victory.
Losing twice in the same week to an Eastern Conference opponent you should consider yourself better than is never a good look for this Milwaukee team that continues to play possum. Seemingly all year it’s been one step forward, one step back, and that trend marched on tonight.
Giannis Antetokounmpo kept his shot total low (6-15), but was hyper efficient with a gaudy night from the free throw line going 8-15. He ended the evening with 22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists with two blocks and two steals. Unfortunately, his all around performance just wasn’t enough to stop the Heat from tallying their second win over Milwaukee this week.
Khris Middleton was his most competent partner tonight with 25 points, albeit on a not great shooting performance going 11-22 but just 3-8 from deep. Unfortunately, the starting backcourt did not hold up their end of the bargain, with Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon shooting just 4-20 combined from the field. Their total 19-point scoring output was pretty piddly as Tony Snell broke out of a recent shooting slump to go 4-5 from deep and hit 12 points.
For Miami, Hassan Whiteside decimated the Bucks down low to the tune of 27 points and 13 rebounds. Milwaukee’s interior couldn’t contain him on the defensive end and he battered Milwaukee’s attempts away with 6 blocks. Meanwhile, Kelly Olynyk did damage off the bench with 15 points and while the Bucks held Dragic in check, he still had a serviceable 15 points, five assists and four rebounds.
Stat that Stood Out
Milwaukee managed just 32 points in the paint tonight, a far cry from their usual top-ten average in the league. Meanwhile, they continue to hemorrhage points to opposing teams in that same area, coughing up 50 tonight to Whiteside and his Heat compatriots. The Bucks need to rectify that issue if they hope to have even a league average D in the second half.