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Milwaukee vs. Atlanta: Bucks Fend Off Hawks

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Winning feels good.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks made it five-consecutive victories with a 135-127 triumph over the Atlanta Hawks on the first end of a back-to-back.

Milwaukee raced out to a double-digit lead, but the pesky Hawks clawed their way back into the game and had the advantage going into halftime. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo decided to take matters into his own hands and put Atlanta away in the third.

Three Observations

Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to amaze as he now has dropped a double-double in every game this season. I am running out of superlatives to describe his dominance. His first-half performance was nothing to write home about but he took off in the third. He needed only 30 minutes to pour in 33 points and 11 rebounds. In typical Giannis fashion, he made 12-of-17 shots from the floor and 8-of-13 attempts from the charity stripe. While his three-point stroke was off (1-of-6) he was still letting it fly with confidence. Giannis is just oozing with confidence right now and can simply not be stopped.

Eric Bledsoe had a rough first half offensively as he was trying to force the issue by taking poor shots, but went supernova in the fourth. With the Bucks clinging to a nine-point lead early in the fourth, Bledsoe went to work by attacking the rim with reckless abandonment. He got whatever he wanted in the paint and his three-point stroke came alive as well. It was nice to see him not lose confidence even though his shot was not falling early. Overall, he ended with 28 points, six rebounds, and five assists in 25 minutes of action. As always, he provided the Bucks with some excellent defense and has played at an exceptionally high level since Milwaukee’s brief four-game Western Conference road trip.

It was great to see Wesley Matthew’s shot fall last night. He scored 10 points, two rebounds, and three assists in 28 minutes. He had been struggling mightily as of late but did make 4-of-8 field-goal attempts and 2-of-4 shots from deep. I thought he was very serviceable defensively versus Atlanta and hit a pair of three-pointers in the third period to help break the game open in Milwaukee’s favor. It’s fair to wonder if his spot in the starting lineup is safe once Khris Middleton returns from injury, but regardless, it is great to see him have an impactful performance.

It was also a treat to see Jabari Parker fully healthy playing the game of basketball for the Atlanta Hawks. Regardless of how his tenure with the Bucks ended, he is an easy player to root for. Not many people have the courage to battle back from two career-threatening injuries. He scored 14 points against his former teammate and is someone we should all be wishing well going forward!

Bonus Bucks

  • Donte DiVincenzo was solid once again as a starter. He scored 11 points, five rebounds, and three assists in the win. He looks a lot more comfortable out there with the starters.
  • Brook Lopez is an animal. Even though he scored only 12 points his presence on the defensive end is immeasurable. He finished a team-high plus-17.
  • Pat Connaughton was solid for the Bucks off the bench in 15 minutes of action. He tallied seven points on 3-of-4 shooting while finishing plus-14.
  • Milwaukee finished with 52.9%/39.5%/78.1% shooting splits versus the Hawks.