It was a sluggish start to the Milwaukee Bucks day, but they turned it on late for a “closer than the final score looked” 133-114 win against the Atlanta Hawks. After an uncharacteristically sloppy quarter on the defensive boards, a 73.7% first period for the Bucks only left them ahead 35-32. Giannis Antetokounmpo started getting hacked beneath the basket as the second quarter closed, helping Milwaukee extend its lead to 64-55 heading into halftime. The Bucks also capitalized on 14 Atlanta turnovers, translating that into 18 points while giving it up just five times themselves. The Hawks kept coughing it up, and the Bucks took advantage in the third once again, taking it to a 95-84 lead heading into the fourth. Giannis had to come in for some spot-up duty late, but Milwaukee pulled away in the end.
Giannis was a welcome return to this Bucks lineup, as he showed no respect for the Hawks’ paint patrolmen with his 33 points on the day, which included a 14-19 performance from the line. It’s probably not a huge surprise that the Bucks rebounding woes correlated with Giannis snagging a season-low 6 boards.
Eric Bledsoe, who had trouble hitting buckets against the Wizards, looked back to his low-shooting efficient ways with 24 points on just 9-13 shooting from the field. Khris Middleton still struggled hitting shots (8-19) but it was nice to see him looking to attack the rim with a proliferation of points in the paint today en route to 17.
Trae Young was the star for Atlanta, weaseling his way towards 26 points and a surprising 10 rebounds in the game. John Collins, who has been on a productive tear since December, shot just 6-17 for 13 points. Deandre Bembry flashed some decent moves to the bucket as he notched 18 points.
Stat that Stood Out
The Milwaukee Bucks’ opponents previous high in offensive rebounds this season was Minnesota, who nabbed 17. Today, the Atlanta Hawks slaughtered the Bucks in that regard on a sloppy day at the glass, with the Hawks corralling 18 offensive boards. Not only did that mitigate the Hawks poor shooting on the day, it meant they had easy looks from within the paint. The worst part was who ranked tied for second on the Hawks for the stat - tiny Trae Young who had 3.
Look for a new Buck to join the two-way contract ranks within the next two days: