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Milwaukee vs. Miami: Bucks Extinguish Heat, 124-86

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No starter plays over 26 minutes

NBA: Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It was a bit of a dull start for Milwaukee, as at one point, they were on pace for just eight points in the opening quarter. However, the offense quickly soaked through, and the Bucks exploded for 30 points and a seven point lead moving onto the second period.

A 31-9 run fueled the good guys in the second quarter, as they broke through with relative ease. It reminded me of the quote from the legendary floor general Michael Scott, who once called basketball “a game of jazz.” That’s what the Bucks mimicked, as crisp pass after crisp pass setup ample shots.

The slaughter would continue the rest of the night. Milwaukee would tread into the final period of action playing with a massive lead, and they’d end up keeping it — winning by a total of 124-86.

Eric Bledsoe finished with a team-high 17 points on the outing. Malcolm Brogdon had 16. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists — arguably his most quiet triple-double of his career.

For Miami, Justise Winslow and Hassan Whiteside each contributed with 19 apiece.

Three Observations

It’s so nice when the starters don’t have to register over 26 minutes.

As was the case a few weeks ago, the same went tonight. With a back-to-back and the Bucks playing down in Memphis this evening, it warms the heart seeing those minutes. Revenge was clearly on Milwaukee’s mind last night and they clearly washed away any bitter remnants of the loss earlier this year down in South Beach. When you win a game by 38 points and no starter has over 17 points, you’re doing something right. Once again, the depth of this Milwaukee Bucks team has been shown in an outstanding light.

Brook Lopez = the heart and soul of this squad.

You could probably make this point for numerous guys on the team, but it really seems that when Lopez is on, the rest of the team is on. Early in the ballgame, he sank a couple of threes. This was huge because he was on a bit of a dry spell, and it immediately set the tone for not just him, but the rest of the Bucks. Opening up the floor makes this team flow so much easier, and it’s a joy to watch. It’s just a matter of time before Splash Mountain receives his invitation to All-Star Weekend and the 3-Point Contest.

It’s tantalizing watching Sterling Brown and DJ Wilson play this well.

I absolutely love how often these two are becoming frequent visitors in my Three Observations. I couldn’t choose just one of them from last night, so I’ll roll with both of them. Downtown Sterling Brown went 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, paving the way for a 13 point performance on the evening. Meanwhile, DJ Wilson chipped away during his 17 minutes on the court, tallying eight points — including quite the athletic circus shot at the end of the quarter — unfortunately, it was juuuust late. Nonetheless, these two stepped it up against a physical Miami team, and continued along the development path that they’ve done a magnificent job of traveling so far this season.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Sunday in Atlanta, Khris Middleton posted a season-high 11 rebounds against Atlanta. He came quite close to that last night, finishing with eight. There’s a good chance that he would’ve gotten that and more had he stayed out on the floor, but we’ll leave that as speculation. Nonetheless, it’s great seeing him be so involved in the rebound department as of late.
  • Early on, Miami’s physicality really seemed to stir the Bucks the wrong way. At one point, they were destined to hold Milwaukee to single digits for the entire first quarter. Alas, the Bucks broke through — and the hole was never sewn. Kudos to Budenholzer and his staff for developing one heck of a gameplan.
  • Tony Snell may be the most underrated Buck. I saw some conversation about who the most underrated Buck on this year’s team is on Twitter during the game, and his name popped up a couple of times. He’s not the flashiest. He’s not the most talented. But when he sinks a 3-pointer, it’s the purest swish I’ve ever seen in my entire life. He sank a couple of them last night and earned a +27 RPM, which was the highest of any Buck whose sneakers touched the floor.
  • Take a look at Stephen’s video. Pretty insane:
  • Justise still touched it. You know what I’m talking about.
  • Last, I’ll leave you with this — honestly the coolest part of the night. A major salute to not just Irena, but the entire MCTS bus staff. It seems like every other week they make national news outlets for their kindness and alertness. You can actually check out Irena’s story and more at mcts.com/excellence. Make sure you have a tissue box nearby.