History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sure can rhyme from time to time, can’t it? The Bucks got a taste of that truism tonight coughing up yet another huge lead in a bothersome 105-116 loss.
If there was one guy who should take a bow, who else could it be than Khris Middleton? Middleton, who has averaged 85.6 points, 43.3 assists, and 25.9 rebounds in his career against the Celtics (CORRECTION: These are not Khris’s actual per game averages against Boston. Apologies), was on fire from the moment the game began. He’d tally 26 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists and was given floor general duties with sub units in the later moments of the first quarter. Things tightened up a bit through sloppy execution on both ends by Milwaukee and a sudden shooting streak from Boston. Milwaukee was a shaky 9-14 from the FT line, but would lead 58-42 at the half.
And then... well, the Bucks fell back into disaster. A 16 point lead evaporated in the blink of the third quarter with the Celtics outscoring the Bucks 38-18. Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, and Gordon Hayward would all get close to 20 point totals by the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, and it was a dogfight from there. Scratch that, a dogfight would imply that the Bucks had much to give Boston. Some more Khris Middleton jumpers were all that stood out in a sea of bricked three pointer after bricked three pointer.
Four games aren’t a large enough sample to deduce anything concrete, but woof. Live by the three, die by the three, right?
Stat That Stood Out
Bucks have been outscored by that rate in the third quarter this season. Last year they tormented opponents coming out of the break with shocking regularity, and through four the tables have been turned.